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Panelists feel that in the coming days, picture will get clearer on the exact nature of poll pacts 

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav met BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow. The development comes a day after SP and BSP announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections. Parties are looking for alliances and common ground to oust the BJP in the coming elections. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Anant posed the questions to panelists including the Congress’s Saif Khan, BJP’s Anand Sahu, RJD’s Balwant Singh, PSPL’s Irfan Malik, SP’s Kamal Patel and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Balwant Singh said: “Tejashwi has the blessings of Lalu Yadav. He’s trying for a maha gathbandhan, and is setting up strategic talks for that.”

Khan said: “The Congress is a national party. It is not that we don’t know how to run a government with a grand alliance. BJP’s graph is going down, look at the recently held assembly polls. We are capable of fighting independent elections. In UP, we have suffered because of our alliance in the past.”

Balwant Singh said: “SP and BSP are doing well in UP. “

Raju said: “Tejashwi is keeping all options open. It is not possible to say what scenario is likely after elections. Alliance with Maywati will help to garner dalit votes.”

Malik said: “There can be no gath bandhan in UP without Shivpal Yadav. SP-BSP alliance is completely with a view to the polls.”

Sahu said: “In UP, those leaders who can’t stand each other are getting together to stall Modi’s vijay rath. If Mayawati becomes PM, will she make jobs available for all? It is not like that. There is no challenge to Modi, he has a strong vision for India, corruption has gone, development is on track.”

Sahu threatened to leave the debate. Then Khan said: “These leaders only know how to do jumla. We have always performed better as independents, our vote share has gone up. Time will let when we do gath bandhan.”

Patel said: “Pollsters are predicting a bright win for us. Akhilesh Yadav will decide who to tie up with at the national level. We are committed to serve the interests of the poor.”

Malik said: “Ironically, Mayawati has been CM in the past with BJP’s help. Shivpal Yadav is in talks with the Congress. Shivpal Yadav can take the lead for all seats in UP.”

Raju said: “Alliance talks are still at an early stage. Shivpal Yadav has made it clear that their one point agenda is to demolish the BJP, and can look for alliance for this.”

Khan said: “Our national leadership will decide if alliance will be needed in the coming days. Possibilities are there, but for right now Raj Babbar has said Congress will fight for all 80 seats in UP.”

Singh said: “In UP and Jharkhand, there is an alliance of Congress and RJD.”

Patel said: “We are determined for grand alliance in centre to oust BJP, no question of any NDA alliance.”

Khan said: “NDA was a grand alliance of 47 parties; now it has come to 35, BJP graph is down. All parties are anti-NDA.”

Raju said: “It’s difficult to say what will be post-poll alliances. SP-BSP alliance will make it tough for Congress as well. Tejashwi Yadav in a way has been unfair to the Congress.”

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