Congress, Samajwadi to jointly contest Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh

September 1st, 2008 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) The Congress and the Samajwadi Party Monday decided to jointly contest the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, with the Samajwadi Party seeking similar alliances in some other states. A three-member Congress delegation led by general secretary Rahul Gandhi held discussions with Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh here for over three hours regarding seat sharing in Uttar Pradesh.

“The Congress and Samajwadi Party will jointly contest the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh as both parties have same thinking,” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of the party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, told reporters.

“Both the parties have decided on a majority of seats in Uttar Pradesh. The rest will be decided in the next meeting scheduled on Sep 8,” he said.

The Samajwadi Party demanded from the Congress similar tie-ups in some other states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. The Congress said the talks were limited to Uttar Pradesh.

“Just like the Congress is asking for more seats in Uttar Pradesh, despite being weak there, we asked them to help us in states where we have a marginal presence,” Amar Singh said.

Amar Singh also announced that the Samajwadi Party will not field candidates against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who represents Rae Bareli, and Rahul Gandhi, the MP from adjoining Amethi constituency. Both Lok Sabha seats are in Uttar Pradesh.

The two parties also discussed demographic changes in the state following the delimitation of constituencies.

Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav also took part in the meeting.

The parties also discussed possible electoral tie-ups with rebel Samajwadi Party leaders Raj Babbar and Beni Prasad Verma, both of who have formed their own parties.

The Congress is likely to finalise its candidates for Uttar Pradesh by the month-end.

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