Congress, Samajwadi Party tread cautiously on alliance

April 1st, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) India’s ruling Congress arty and the Samajwadi Party said Tuesday that not much should be read into the recent “cosiness” between them. Leaders from both parties told IANS that the recent political developments were not a precursor to an alliance. But, at the same time, they would not rule out the possibility of a tie-up in future.

Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily said Tuesday that party chief Sonia Gandhi’s attack on the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh the day ago did not mean the Congress was extending a hand of friendship to the Samajwadi Party, the leading opposition party in the state.

“Our criticism of the BSP (Bahujan Samajwadi Party) should not be construed as our support for the Samajwadi Party,” Moily, member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), told IANS, referring to Gandhi’s strident attack on the Uttar Pradesh government.

The Samajwadi Party spoke in a similar vein.

“Our general secretary Amar Singh made it clear at our Jabalpur conclave last week that just as Sonia Gandhi and (Bharatiya Janata Party leader) L.K. Advani having dinner together does not mean they are forging an alliance, similarly our interactions with the Congress does not mean we are coming together,” said Ambika Chaudhary.

A senior leader in the Samajwadi Party, Chaudhary is a former Uttar Pradesh minister.

“The Congress is criticising the BSP as part of its strategy for revival. Any party sensitive to the plight of the people would criticise the BSP’s anti-people policies,” he said.

“Meetings between Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders should be read more as courtesy visits rather than politically significant meetings,” said Chaudhary.

Addressing the concluding session of a two-day Uttar Pradesh Congress meeting in Kanpur, Gandhi termed the less than a year old BSP government in Uttar Pradesh as “corrupt”, and said her son and MP Rahul Gandhi was ready to go to jail as part of a crusade against the Mayawati dispensation.

“The Congress should start an agitation against the state government and (its leaders should) be prepared to go to jail if required. If need be, Rahul will go to jail with you,” she said.

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