Congress, Samajwadi Party seat sharing talks MondaySeptember 7th, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Hard bargaining is expected during the second round of seat sharing talks Monday between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh as “friendly contests” have been ruled out. The focus is likely to be the seats to which both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party are staking claim. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will lead the three-member party delegation and the Samajwadi Party is likely to be represented by party general secretary Amar Singh.
The two parties had Sep 1 decided to jointly contest the elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Singh had announced that his party would not field candidates against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who represents Rae Bareli, and Rahul Gandhi, the MP from adjoining Amethi constituency.
But the Samajwadi Party is not ready to concede the seats it had won in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Singh made it clear that they would not compromise on three seats including Rampur, Farukhabad and Pratapgarh.
Opposing the Congress’s idea of “friendly contests” in a few seats, Singh had said: “In such an eventuality, there will be friendly fights in 78 seats as the SP will extend support to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi, respectively”.
After the first meeting Sep 1, both the parties had said that the seat sharing would be carried out with “winnability” as the criteria in the state.