‘Friendly fights’ with Samajwadi Party inevitable: Congress (Lead)

January 12th, 2009 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh Monday said a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh would not be possible without “friendly fights”.“There are seven-eight contentious seats in the state where an alliance is not possible and we have to have friendly fights against each other,” Digvijay Singh, the party’s Uttar Pradesh affairs incharge, told reporters here.

By “friendly fights”, the party means one side fielding a weak candidate for the benefit of the other side.

The contentious seats, according to Digvijay Singh, include Rampur, Farrukhabad, Pratapgarh, Gonda, Fatehpur Sikri and Salempur.

While their seat-sharing talks are on, the Samajwadi Party went ahead and Monday declared its third list of candidates - thus signalling it wanted to contest 51 of Uttar pradesh’s 80 Lok Sabha seats.

Asked about the development, Digvijay Singh said: “We are still hopeful of the alliance and all options are open for the alliance, including withdrawal of names of candidates and talks.

“The Congress is a mature party and has a history of dealing with such situations in a much matured way. In politics, one needs to play coolly and calmly,” he added.

In case there is no alliance in the state, the Samajwadi Party would stand to lose more than the Congress, Digvijay Singh said.

In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the Samajwadi Party had won 39 seats from Uttar Pradesh while the Congress won only nine seats.

Digvijay Singh also said the two parties were planning seat-sharing in other states too.

The Samajwadi Party supports the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi.

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