Dikshit backs SP alliance, ready to opt out of UP CM race

New Delhi: Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said she favours a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, and that she is ready to step aside as Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pardesh.

“I am in favour of an alliance with the SP. I am ready to withdraw from contention as CM candidate if there is an alliance,” Sheila Dikshit told the media here.

“Akhilesh Yadav is a much better chief ministerial candidate than me. Would be happy to step aside for him,” Dikshit added.

The senior Congress leader said nobody in her party had spoken to her about a possible alliance in the state where elections will be held in seven phases from February 11.

There have been speculations about ongoing parleys between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party for alliance in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the assembly elections.

Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa will elect new assemblies between February 4 and March 8.

Uttar Pradesh — the country’s most populous and politically significant state — will go to elect its 403-member state assembly in seven phases: February 11 (73 seats), February 15 (67 seats), February 19 (69 seats), February 23 (53 seats), February 27 (52 seats), March 4 (49 seats) and March 8 (40 seats).