Amidst indications that Samajwadi Party leader and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is warming up to the idea of an alliance with Congress, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee President Raj Babbar on Monday said his party will contest alone in the state and described such talks as "hypothetical".
"Alliance talks in some way demoralises workers. I have no such information. The party leadership has not asked me to look for a tie up and it is not under consideration. This is hypothetical," he told PTI.
Recently Akhilesh had said that his party was capable enough to get majority on its own but if there was an alliance with Congress, they would together get over 300 seats, triggering speculation of a pre-poll tie-up.
Akhilesh's father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has already ruled out any pre-poll alliance, asserting that there can only be mergers.
The Chief Minister, however, had said that the final decision on alliance will be taken by the SP supremo and he can only give suggestions.
Akhilesh also suggested that Congress will have to accept that it may have to fight on a fewer number of seats than it wants in an alliance because a tie-up will not work out if it keeps thinking about "profit and loss".
Asked about the issue, Babbar stressed that Congress will "contest UP polls alone" and the first list of the party candidates is likely to be released by the end of this month.
"The exercise of candidate selection is on. We have again asked for the prospective candidates list from district presidents," he said.
To a question about the party's expected performance in 2017, he said, "The situation is changing in the state. Those who were considering Congress as zero are now talking about it. Various campaigns in past few months have succeeded in connecting with people and they are looking for an alternative".
"There is anger among people against BJP, SP and BSP. While BJP will be facing consequences of demonitisation, there is a feud in SP and people did not have faith and trust on BSP due to its past record. The only alternative is Congress," he said, adding that party will certainly be improving its tally in 2017 Assembly polls from 29 it got in 2012.