At the formal launch of the Samajwadi Party-Congress joint campaign here on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav said there was a “possibility” that they would keep their collaboration going for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as well. The Yadav and Gandhi scions acknowledged BJP as their common foe, and said the pact would give a fitting reply to the saffron party’s “politics of anger and hatred”.
Akhilesh let Rahul lead the show, only stepping in to say that UP results would set the tone in national politics, adding that he was confident that the alliance would win over 300 seats. Both evaded questions on Congress transiting from raising anti-SP slogan, like ’27 saal UP behaal’ (27 years of hopelessness in UP), to ‘UP ko ye saath pasand hai’ (UP likes this partnership). The two political heirs harped on uniting to fight against the BJP and its communal agenda, while also ducking questions on whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi would campaign for their alliance.
While Rahul said anyone who believes in their ideology was welcome, Akhilesh said he was happy that he had the blessings of party elders. Akhilesh also said that while he and Rahul had been colleagues in Parliament, this was the first time they would be working together for UP. Emphasising on their youth power — Rahul is 46 and Akhilesh 44 — the UP CM described themselves as two wheels of the same cycle.