SP-Congress tie-up tussle continues (Lead)March 7th, 2009 - 10:49 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi/Lucknow, March 7 (IANS) The Congress Saturday maintained that talks were on with the Samajwadi Party for an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, but the latter said there were no clear indications of this.
“Alliance talks are on and we will soon reach a consensus (on seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh). We will have a friendly contest with the Samajwadi Party in at least seven places,” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said in Lucknow.
“We will have friendly contests with the Samajwadi Party in Rampur, Farooquabad, Pratapgarh and four to five other seats. We will soon reach an alliance with the Samajwadi Party,” said Digvijay Singh, in-charge of Congress affairs in Uttar Pradesh.
Reacting to this, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh told reporters in New Delhi that his party had not received any such indications.
He said: “In our meeting with Digvijay Singh, where the party’s state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi was also present, he said he is not in favour of an alliance.
“If today he (Digvijay) says that the alliance will happen, I am grateful to him, I thank him,” Amar Singh said.
But even if the alliance did not happen, the Samajwadi Party would maintain cordial ties with the Congress, he added.
“We are open to meeting (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi. Not once, we can meet her 100 times,” Amar Singh said.
“Sonia Gandhi’s intentions are honourable but some of her managers are misleading her. Otherwise, the alliance would long have happened,” Amar Singh added.
Asked about Amar Singh’s earlier statement that his party would not give more than 17 seats to the Congress, Digvijay Singh refused to comment.
“We will definitely reach a pre-poll alliance with them and talks are on,” he said.
“We will make all possible efforts that no third party is able to benefit at the seats where we (Congress and Samajwadi Party) will have a friendly contest,” Digvijay Singh added.
“The delimitation has changed the character of a large number of constituencies and we (Congress) are capable of fielding candidates for all the seats in the state”, Singh said.
To questions about his meeting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for a tie-up, he said there was nothing wrong in talking to them.
The RJD and NCP are part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The NCP has problems in finalising a seat-sharing formula with the Congress in Maharashtra.
“Lalu Prasad wants to campaign for our party in Uttar Pradesh and said he will be happy if we do the same in Bihar. Ask him if you want to,” Amar Singh said.
Amar Singh went on to say that “Ahmed Patel (Congress president’s political adviser) and Pawar have been talking to each other and also Sushil Shinde. But everyone has a problem if we talk to them (Yadav and Pawar).
Tags: alliance talks, amar singh, congress president sonia gandhi, consensus, contests, delimitation, digvijay singh, favour, general secretary, joshi, lok sabha polls, lucknow, New Delhi, poll alliance, pratapgarh, rita, Samajwadi Party, state president, third party, tussle