Lucknow: In possibly the first hint at a post-poll alliance, the Congress on Sunday indicated that it considered BSP supremo Mayawati "a much better ally" than Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. The CNN-IBN-The Week exit polls had revealed a clear victory for the SP in the state Assembly elections.
However, the Congress had earlier ruled out any post-poll alliance with either the SP or the BSP. "We would prefer to sit in Opposition," several Congress leaders had claimed.
However, on Sunday, Congress leader Beni Prasad Verma said that Mayawati seemed a much better ally than Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Yadav, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue arguing that he could not say anything before March 6, which is when the vote-counting begins.
Meanwhile, refuting rumours, the SP further claimed that its chief ministerial candidate was Yadav, rather than his son, Akhilesh.
When asked whether Akhilesh will be made the chief minister, party leader Shahid Siddiqui said the question was "still open".
"It (Akhilesh Yadav becoming the chief minister) is an open question," said Siddiqui. He added, "Akhliesh Yadav can, of course, become the CM... He has got all the talent and all the support of the people. But it always is an open question... Decisions are not taken pre-poll... They are taken post-poll and they should be taken post-poll as we believe in some kind of democracy."
Party leader Shivpal Yadav also claimed the SP will not need any support to form a government.
In what is most likely to be one of its biggest electoral victories in UP in the last 20 years, the SP is bound to surprise by garnering an impressive 34 per cent of the votes in the Assembly elections 2012, a CNN-IBN-The Week post-poll survey conducted by CSDS has shown. It said that a vote-share of 34 per cent for the SP would mean the party will steer clear of its rivals and remain ahead by an unprecedented 10 per cent of the total votes polled in UP.
In the four-cornered battle for UP, other parties are far behind the SP in terms of vote share. The survey said the BSP might have a vote share of 24 per cent as opposed to 30 per cent in 2007, BJP 14 per cent as opposed to 17 in 2007 and the Congress will finish at the fourth position with an estimated 12 per cent vote share compared to 13 per cent in 2007.
Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi, despite the Congress' bad performance in the survey, remains a favourite with the voters. Thirty eight per cent of the voters surveyed said they had more faith in Rahul, as compared to the 21 per cent that said it trusted Akhilesh Yadav more.
Mulayam Singh Yadav was the top choice for the Chief Minister's post with 34 per cent of the voters opting for the SP chief, as opposed to Mayawati (22 per cent) and Rahul Gandhi (8 per cent).
Despite the wave, only 2 per cent of the voters wanted Akhilesh as the CM of the state.