Uttar Pradesh Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has rejected any possibility of post-poll alliance with the Congress. Speaking to Dainik Jagran, UP SP chief claimed that the Congress stood nowhere in the race of power in the state and his party would win a clear majority on its own. Excerpts of the interview:

What the scenario do you see emerging in Uttar Pradesh polls?
We are confident of winning 260 seats in the election.

Despite favourable conditions in 2002 Assembly polls, your party had won just 143 seats. Given the fact, how can you rely on your claim of winning 260 seats?

Conditions are more favourable now as compared to the 2002 polls. Our vote bank has steadily scaled up and the youths who have just been added to the voters list this year are bound to vote for us.

The Congress was nowhere to be seen in the race of power in 2002 Assembly polls but now the party has emerged as a strong contender in the state. It is believed that the Congress is making inroads in the Muslim vote bank. Is it not going to pose a serious challenge for your party?

Just leave the Congress aside as it is out of race for Assembly polls. It is not going to win even a single seat in the districts like Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich and Shravasti which are being projected as stronghold of the party.  Actually the Congress is largely relying on the backing of borrowed leaders and workers. It is not going to help the party to win the elections. They have allotted tickets to the rebels of our own party. Those who are leading the campaigns of the Congress party in the state like -Beni Prasad and Raj Babbar- were once associated with us.

What kind of relationship do you share with Rahul Gandhi?
We occasionally meet in the House (Lok Sabha).

It is believed that your terms with Rahul will help you to form a government in the state after the election if your party failed to win majority on its own.

This speculation would have been possible if there had any doubt over our performance. We are heading towards absolute majority.

It is believed that owing to your political compulsion to maintain a good relationship with Rahul Gandhi, you expelled those party workers who showed black flag to the Congress leader.

We actually acted against the worker as they took to inappropriate measures to oppose a person.

Several instances have emerged recently which showed that the Samajwadi Party is working under some kind of pressure. Earlier it was not possible for the party to budge from the stand taken by your party Chief Mulayam Singh. 

The SP does not act under any kind of pressure. Even today, all decisions in the party are taken with the consent of Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav). Even on my opinion in the party affairs, he takes a call with great circumspection.  

Is it true that Akhilesh Yadav and his aides predominant in the party?

This is absolutely incorrect.

Despite many strong contenders in the SP for party tickets, you allotted tickets to your friends.

There were certain norms for allotting party tickets which were duly followed in ticket distribution. I did recommend the names of some good people like Abhishek Mishra from Lucknow. He was a teacher at IIM-Ahmadabad and quit his profession to join politics. It is media itself which stresses on promoting good people in the politics but it is surprising that when we have introduced good people, you are questioning our move.

You also arranged a ticket for the daughter of Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Akhand Pratap Singh?

Yes, but Juhi Sinha's candidature is quite justified.

What did actually compel you to join hands with Maulana Bukhari?

There was no compulsion. He offered his support to us and we are receiving everyone’s support.

Mulayam Singh Yadav had once advised Maulana Bukhari to mind his business as an Imam (Islamic Priest) and not to interfere with the affairs of politicians. Given this, what lured you to take support of the Imam?

Netaji had said this according to the circumstances prevailing that time.

You have also given a ticket to his son-in-law?

Yes. What's wrong there? He is young, educated and has a favourable condition in the constituency.  

Now the main question is that who will be the CM?

Netaji will be the next Chief Minister.

And what if the legislators choose you for the position?

Legislators will choose Netaji only…