The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Sunday released its manifesto for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, merely hours after it emerged that the party had managed to somehow stitch together an alliance with the Congress. The party resolved the thorny issue of seat-sharing that had almost resulted in each party fighting the polls alone!
The SP is expected to fight on the poll plank of all the work it claims to have done while in power over the past five years, with the poll campaign tagline being "Kaam Bolta Hai," or "Work speaks for itself." This also seemed to be the refrain when UP Chief Minister and current SP chief Akhilesh Yadav released the party manifesto in Lucknow on Sunday, with wife Dimple and party veteran Azam Khan by his side.
And as can be expected from many political parties, Akhilesh on Sunday promised some freebies as well: He said the SP would give people smartphones if it came to power. This is not an entirely new scheme, though. Akhilesh had launched it back in October 2016.
Meanwhile, it emerged on Sunday that the SP and the Congress had managed to come to an agreement over which party would get to contest on how many of the 403 seats in the UP Assembly. The decision meant that there were no more hurdles for the parties to overcome before they fought the elections in alliance.
It was reported that the Congress, which had wanted to put up candidates in around 120 seats, ended up with 104-106 seats. This was just a little bit higher that the 99 the SP was initially giving them. The alliance means the Congress will no more have to project scam-accused former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit as its chief-ministerial candidate in UP.