Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh on Saturday met Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. The meeting has triggered talks of a possible AAP-SP alliance for the next year's Assembly elections in the country's most populous state.
Singh, who is also the AAP's Uttar Pradesh in charge, however, described the meeting as merely a 'courtesy visit'.
"We have met several times. His (Akhilesh) birthday was on July 1 and I could not meet him. Hence, I visited to wish him," Singh said, adding that "this is a casual meeting" and nothing should be seen in it.
Singh, however, added that they did talk about the Zilla Panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh. He alleged that BJP has hijacked the polls and accused it of misusing state machinery to bulldoze democracy.
"If 25 zilla panchayat chiefs are being elected unopposed, that means the polls have been overtaken by the Uttar Pradesh government," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Notably, Akhilesh earlier this week said that the Samajwadi Party will join the ranks with smaller parties in the state in the run-up to the Assembly polls. The two parties -- AAP and Samajwadi party, have toed a similar line on the alleged irregularities in the land deals for the Ram Mandir in Ayodha.
Uttar Pradesh, a politically crucial state in the country that sets the narrative of national politics, will go to the polls early next year. The ruling BJP has already started flexing its muscles as it seeks to retain the power with a brute majority for the second term under Yogi Adityanath's leadership. The party had won 312 of the 403 seats in 2017. The SP had pocketed just 47 seats, 177 less than its 2012 tally. The BSP of Mayawati secured only 19 seats.