Akhilesh Yadav meets Mayawati after Priyanka Gandhi paid surprise visit to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad

Lucknow: The chiefs of Uttar Pradesh alliance partners SP and BSP met here Wednesday hours after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi paid a surprise visit to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad at a Meerut hospital. SP president Akhilesh Yadav met BSP chief Mayawati after newly appointed Congress general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia met Azad.

When contacted, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the two leaders met to discuss joint public meetings and rallies, being planned for the Lok Sabha polls. Meetings are being held constantly as the election is round the corner and the poll campaign has to be launched full scale after Holi next week, he said. The alliance has left two seats for the Congress in the state and will honestly support it on them, said Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, a senior SP leader, who did not wish to be named, claimed Priyanka Gandhi’s visit to the Bhim Army chief was in reaction to the BSP president ruling out any alliance with the Congress. “But Mayawati is not someone who will yield to any kind of pressure. This alliance will not come under pressure. It has already given two seats to the Congress,” he added. Mayawati had Tuesday snubbed the Congress by slamming doors on it for any electoral alliance for the Lok Sabha polls anywhere in the country.

The SP and the BSP recently forged an alliance on 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As per the deal, the SP will contest 37 Lok Sabha seats in UP and the BSP 38, leaving three for the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal and two for Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and Rahul Gandhi (Amethi). The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections begin on April 11.

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