Union Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma has come out in favour of a post-poll alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party.
With the results of the elections to five Assemblies due in the next 30-odd hours and all exit polls in Uttar Pradesh projecting a clear lead for the Samajwadi Party, political parties are beginning to climb down from their campaign rhetoric and gearing for the post-poll scenario.
The bravado demonstrated by leaders in the run-up to the campaign — claiming that their party would form the government in Uttar Pradesh on its own strength and categorical assertions of no support to another party in the event of a hung Assembly — has vanished into thin air.
Contradictory statements are flowing from the Congress camp on the strategy the party would adopt in the post-poll scenario. Union Minister and Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma has come out in favour of a post-poll alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Within hours of his airing his views on television channels, Congress leaders, including party general secretaries Digvijay Singh and Rashid Alvi and U.P. Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari, distanced themselves from his comments.
Akhilesh Yadav, son of Mulayam Singh, was confident that his party would get a majority on its own and may not need Congress support.
Atiq Khan reports from Lucknow
Soon after Mr. Verma made his remarks, Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi said in a statement in Lucknow: “Mr. Verma's are his personal views, and if the Congress is unable to form a government, it will sit in the Opposition.”