Lucknow | Jagran Politics Desk: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said that he will not contest the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. He also opened up about his party's alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and said that the two will soon announce the seat-sharing pact for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Speaking to news agency PTI in an exclusive interview, Akhilesh, who is Samajwadi Party's MP from Azamgarh, also spoke about the chances of taking uncle Shivpal Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) and said, "I dont have any problem in this. He and his men will be given due honour". 

I will "not be contesting the assembly polls," Akhilesh said while speaking to PTI. "Our alliance with RLD is final. Seat sharing is to be finalised".

Akhilesh had served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017. However, he had to resign after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) riding on the 'Modi wave' swept the 2017 assembly elections in the state, winning more than 300 seats in the 400-member Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly.

Akhilesh's Samajwadi Party had also formed an alliance with the Congress for the 2017 polls. However, the alliance failed miserably after which the two parties parted their ways. Both later announced that they will not unite again, but Akhilesh's unexpected meeting with Congress' Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has created a buzz in the political arena.

Yogi Adityanath slams Akhilesh Yadav over 'Patel-Jinnah' remark

Meanwhile, BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday slammed Akhilesh for comparing Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru.

"The Samajwadi Party chief yesterday compared Jinnah to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This is shameful. It's the Talibani mentality that believes in dividing. Sardar Patel united the country. Currently, under the leadership of PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi), work is underway to achieve 'Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat (One India, Best India)," Adityanath was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Akhilesh on Sunday, which was also the 146th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, had remarked that Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah studied in the same institute, where they became barristers and fought for India's independence.

"Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute. They became barristers and fought for India's freedom... It was Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who imposed a ban on an ideology (RSS)," Akhilesh had said, as reported by ANI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma