Akhilesh told IPA that he was working very hard to make this alliance a reality as soon as possible and he was willing to make any sacrifice for seat adjustments to achieve the ultimate goal of unseating BJP.

Coming straight from the birth anniversary function of Samajwadi Party stalwart Janeshwar Mishra, Akhilesh exuded confidence about reaching an understanding with BSP and RLD and Congress. The SP national president has sought written opinion of the members of national executive about the proposed alliance with BSP, RLD and Congress.

Akhilesh is also in touch with RLD leader Jayant Choudhry for seat negotiations. Samajwadi Party has expressed its willingness to give three seats to RLD from its quota on the basis of the 2014 polls when SP was placed second in 31 constituencies and won five. The party is also in touch with BSP leader Satish Mishra through Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh's uncle and leader in Rajya Sabha. All the negotiations with BSP are being made between Ram Gopal Yadav and Satish Mishra.

The last meeting between Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati had taken placed in Bangalore during oath taking ceremony of H D Kumaraswamy, which turned out to be a grand show of opposition unity, with almost the entire opposition lining up on the stage in an expression of solidarity against the Modi government’s policies.

Samajwadi Party has started the process of finalising candidates for those seats where party was placed second in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Akhilesh Yadav has announced that he would contest from Kannauj, which is currently being represented by his wife Dimple. He also announced that his father and founder Mulayam Singh Yadav will contest from Mainpuri. His grand nephew, who is the son in law of Lalu Prasad Yadav, will contest from Azamgarh. Akhilesh announced that his wife will not contest the 2019 elections.

Mayawati’s BSP has also started preparations for selecting the candidates, beginning with those seats where the party was placed second in the 2014 elections and the seats whit it hopes to get from Akhilesh under the alliance arrangement. Mayawati herself is keen to contest this time to make herself available as a candidate for the prime ministerial position should the other opposition parties agree on ‘dalit ki beti’.

Mayawati has already given the green signal to certain candidates to go ahead with preparations to contest. She also took action against those who were damaging the chances of potential candidates. At the same time, she still insists that she would only accept alliance if she was given respectable number of seats.

Although RLD president Ajit Singh announced that he would not contest due to old age, his son Jayant Choudhry is all set to contest from Mathura. The party had won a historic by-election at Kairana recently.

It is learnt that Akhilesh Yadav is not willing to give more than 6 to 8 seats to Congress, which is, however, demanding more than 10 seats. He had recently said that Congress did not have any significant presence in UP; neither in terms of seats nor votes.

Significantly, Akhilesh has tried to buy peace within the family and party by projecting his father Mulayam Singh Yadav as a PM candidate if the opposition parties got majority in the 2019 general elections. (IPA Service)