Lucknow | Jagran Politics Desk: Senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on a Delhi-Lucknow flight, creating a buzz in the political arena that the two parties might ally with each other once again ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

According to a report by news agency IANS, the two leaders had a brief interaction and exchanged pleasantries during the flight and said that they will meet soon. "We must meet soon," Priyanka reportedly told Akhilesh.

Congress and Samajwadi Party had contested the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh together, but the alliance had failed miserably after the two parties parted their ways. However, Priyanka and Akhilesh agreeing to meet each other again might be a hint that Congress and Samajwadi Party might ally again against a common enemy again.

Interestingly, the two parties had said that they would contest the Uttar Pradesh polls alone. However, in August, Akhilesh had hinted that a pre-poll alliance might be formed "with smaller parties".

"Doors of our party are open for all small parties. Many smaller parties are already with us. More will come with us," he had told news agency PTI in an interview. "We will try that all parties unite to defeat the BJP".

Following Akhilesh's statement, the Congress had also softened its stance on alliance said that it is open to allying with small parties. However, it has said that it will not ally with the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

"The Congress' stand on alliances is clear, we will forge alliances only with small parties. We will not even think about aligning again with big parties," Congress' Uttar Pradesh chief Ajay Kumar Lallu told PTI in an interview.

Assembly elections are slated to take place in Uttar Pradesh in February or March next year. In the previous elections, the BJP had swept the polls, returning to power in the state after 18 years.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma