Kalyan not an issue for ties with Samajwadi Party: CongressJanuary 25th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The Congress party will not have a problem in forging an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming general elections even if former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh joins it, a senior Congress leader said.Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh admitted the fact cannot be wished away that it was during Kalyan Singh’s tenure as Uttar Pradesh chief minister that the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992. However, it would not deter the Congress from forging ties with the Samajwadi Party, he said.
Singh, Congress in charge of Uttar Pradesh affairs, denied that it would tarnish the party’s secular credentials.
“Though it’s a historical fact that the Babri Masjid was demolished in his (Kalyan Singh) time, now if the Samajwadi Party gives ticket to him or his son (Rajvir Singh), it is between them. We don’t have any problem in the alliance,” Singh told IANS in an interview.
He said the details of alliance with the Samajwadi Party in the state had been worked out and Congress president Sonia Gandhi would take the final call on it.
“All the spadework has been done. Now the matter is with the party president and we are hopeful to have reasonable alliance,” he said.
Singh, a former two-time chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, conceded that the party lost the November assembly elections in his home state as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed the election strategy better.
He also accepted Gandhi’s view that one reason for the defeat in Madhya Pradesh was disunity in the party. Gandhi had stated this in party mouth piece Sandesh: “Had we been more united and had we been more disciplined, we would, I am sure, have come back to power.”
On the issue of the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the elections, Singh reiterated the party’s stance saying “we have our prime minister (Manmohan Singh) with a very good performance record.”
He also said what party leaders have often said that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had the potential to become prime minister in future.