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As SP Candidate Defects, Fuming Akhilesh Says Congress Irked BSP Same Way


Bhopal: The fissure in the relationship between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party seems to have widened after SP candidate Arjun Arya defected to the grand old party on Monday.

The SP wanted to field Arya from Budni, the assembly seat represented by Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Tensions between the two parties escalated after the SP independently announced a list of six candidates on Saturday, walking out of a possible alliance.

Speaking to News18, Arya on Monday said, “After consulting with farmers, I have decided to return the SP ticket respectfully. To rid this state of the atrocious rule of CM Shivraj, we need strong hands of the Congress.”
However, the Congress is yet to formally induct Arya into its party fold.

A Delhi University graduate, Arya has been leading a farmers’ campaign in Budni against the BJP government for months and was also jailed for the same.

Accusing the Congress of annoying the BSP in a similar fashion, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “In times of elections, this is nothing unusual, but I would say that this has happened at the behest of a Congress leader.”

Yadav said, “What if I say that those who are denied a ticket by the Congress should join the Samajwadi Party?” He added that whenever the Congress has failed, it always had the SP as a trusted companion by its side.

Meanwhile, sources claim that senior Congress leader Arun Yadav is planning to join hands with the Samajwadi Party after his unceremonious ouster as MPCC head earlier this year.

During the SP chief’s visit to the poll-bound state in July, Yadav was called at Akhilesh’s residence in Bhopal. On the contrary, he chose not to meet any Congress leader.

However, the former UP CM had termed the visit ‘a courtesy’ honoring the friendship his father Mulayam Singh Yadav shared with Arun’s late father Subhash Yadav.

The two influential Yadav leaders are reportedly in talks and would be meeting for a crucial decision in Khajuraho on Tuesday.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has already ditched the Congress and the SP has expressed willingness to join hands with the BSP and the Gondwana Gantantra Party for the upcoming MP assembly elections.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta

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