Ready to extend help to Akhilesh Yadav for UP polls: Mamata Banerjee

“If Akhilesh wants, then we are ready to extend our help to him,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The statement comes at a time when Trinamool Congress, as part of its pan-India expansion plans, has identified a slew of states where it wants to gain footprints. The party has identified Tripura, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Goa to make inroads.

Following its resounding victory in Assembly elections in West Bengal, the party has seen a steady stream of leaders joining its ranks. Congress leader Kirti Azad, former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar, and former JD(U) MP Pavan Varma were among the latest to join the party. They were formally inducted into the party in the presence of CM Banerjee in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Delhi, on Wednesday said that she met PM Modi and demanded that the decision to extend BSF’s jurisdiction in the state be withdrawn.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh met Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) national president Jayant Chaudhary in Lucknow on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a possible seat-sharing formula. Sources said a formal announcement would be made soon. While the two parties fought the 2017 elections separately, for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the RLD was part of the Grand Alliance with the SP and BSP.

On Wednesday, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh met Akhilesh in Lucknow, after which he said that both the parties are in talks to sign a seat-sharing pact.

“We have started the talks today. Our primary goal is to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, which is suffering under the misrule of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Akhilesh Yadav is in talks with many parties and our meeting today is also a step in that direction,” Singh told The Indian Express.

(With agency inputs)

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