Too early to speak about Congress-Samajwadi alliance, says Moily

April 1st, 2008 - 4:31 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi
By Monobina Gupta
New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily said Tuesday that party chief Sonia Gandhi’s attack on the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh did not mean it was extending a hand of friendship to the Samajwadi Party. “Our criticism of BSP (Bahujan Samajwadi Party) should not be construed as our support for the Samajawadi Party,” Moily, a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), told IANS, a day after Gandhi launched a strident attack on the Uttar Pradesh government and set tongues wagging.

“It is too early to make an assessment of our relations with Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party,” said Moily.

“Our criticism of the BSP government is entirely on issues of governance,” said Moily. “The BSP is not within the UPA (United Progressive Alliance). It supports us from the outside on issues.”

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh Sunday triggered speculation about possible new alliances at the party’s state conclave in Kanpur when he said that the Congress was open to an alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

Sonia Gandhi Monday said her son Rahul Gandhi was ready to go to jail to highlight the poor governance of the Mayawati government.

The BSP leader responded by saying that Rahul Gandhi’s public concern for Dalits was nothing but a “political gimmick”.

Moily cautioned against reading too much in the volley of charge and counter-charge. He stressed that the main priority before the Congress was to win Uttar Pradesh back.

“This is the reason we are highlighting the plight of Dalits and Backwards. We have to establish our connection with the people,” said Moily.

The Congress is now seen as an also ran in Uttar Pradesh, where the BSP and Samajwadi Party are the dominant players, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). For years, the Congress was seen as pro-BSP and anti-Samajwadi Party.

Sonia Gandhi in her speech Monday said the Congress had to owe up responsibility for letting Uttar Pradesh slip out of the party’s hands.

“We want to do capacity building in Uttar Pradesh. Our plan is long term,” said Moily. “We cannot soft pedal Mayawati because our focus is on the governance of Uttar Pradesh.”

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