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The pre-poll alliance of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) with Congress has over the past few days witnessed whirlwind election campaigning by their respective senior leaders in run up to the coming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
While, SP president and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has taken up the charge on behalf of his party and aided by his cabinet ministers, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is burning the campaign trail with his election meetings across the state.
However, the irony is this would be probably the first time when the topmost leader of both SP and Congress viz. SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Congress president Sonia Gandhi have been completely missing in action from politicking.
Both the leaders are yet to hit the campaigning trail and provide the much needed firepower to the SP-Congress alliance, which was forged to collectively take on the might of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) at the hustings.
The two leaders have not addressed a single public meeting and election rally in the state with the parties maintaining a stoic silence over the issue.
Mulayam is said to be upset over his removal as the SP president following a bitter and public power struggle in the party over the past several months.
Although, Mulayam's name figures in the list of star campaigners for SP, he has not lent his support to not even a single rally in support of party candidate so far even as campaigning for the first phase of polling due on February 11 ended this evening.
He had even announced that he would not seek votes for the party candidates and blamed Akhilesh Yadav for playing in the hands of vested interests, who wanted to weaken SP. Mulayam had also expressed displeasure over SP-Congress alliance saying it was uncalled for, since SP could have regained power in UP without Congress help.
On the other hand, Sonia has also been missing from action. Last year, she had to cut short her road show in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, due to health issues before she flew back to the national capital.
However, she is likely to campaign for party candidates in traditional Gandhi pocket boroughs of Rae Bareli and Amethi districts.