Samajwadi Party in talks with NCP for alliance: Amar

February 11th, 2009 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiMumbai, Feb 11 (IANS) Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh Wednesday said his party was in talks with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for an alliance before the general elections, leaving the Congress aside.
Amar Singh said here that he will have a meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar here Thursday to discuss seat-sharing between the two parties.

The proposed alliance would prove beneficial to both parties in the state assembly elections in the respective states where they are in strength - that is, NCP in Maharashtra and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh - he pointed out.

Singh’s remarks came in response to a query whether the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance talks were on the verge of a breakdown.

Though he declined to elaborate, Singh said his party would wait for the Congress response to its charges before taking a final decision over the issue.

Simultaneously, Singh said that Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra state president Abu Asim Azmi would contest the next Lok Sabha elections from the Mumbai Northwest constituency. However, the final decision on this would be taken by the party election committee.

The Congress is touchy about the seat, represented by late actor and central minister Sunil Dutt and now by his daughter Priya Dutt.

Azmi’s candidature from the seat could split the north Indian and Muslim minority voters who comprises a large chunk of this constituency.

Last month, the Samajwadi Party announced the candidature of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency, sparking off a feud in the Dutt family.

Priya Dutt openly criticised her brother’s decision to contest on a Samajwadi Party ticket, and said that if Sanjay Dutt wanted to join politics, he could have got a Congress ticket at an opportune time.

Later, Sanjay Dutt unilaterally announced that he would not contest if former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee were to seek re-election from Lucknow.

Amar Singh also lashed out at the Congress for using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to frame party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

“If this can happen to Mulayam Singh Yadav, it can happen to anybody else. The CBI has now become the Congress Bureau of Investigation,” Singh alleged.

Praising Congress president Sonia Gandhi as “a very honest and straightforward person”, Amar Singh said some people surrounding her, like Digvijay Singh, were creating a rift between the Congress and Samajwadi Party.

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