Samajwadi Party names more Lok Sabha candidates, upsets Congress (Lead)January 10th, 2009 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Even as its moves to form a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh are on, the Samajwadi Party Saturday announced the names of 17 more candidates to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the state.Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, who released the second list of candidates to the press, maintained that he was “not violating any coalition dharma”, but the move has raised the hackles of the Congress.
On Thursday, the Samajwadi Party had announced 29 names, taking the number of candidates declared by it so far to 46. The state has 80 seats.
Sources said the party’s move has upset the Congress as the Samajwadi Party’s candidate list includes several seats the party wanted to contest and at least five constituencies where it insisted on “friendly fights”.
The Congress had urged the Samajwadi Party during negotiations that it should field weak candidates against the former’s nominees on five seats, but the latter has named strong contestants.
However, Amar Singh claimed Saturday: “I am not announcing the seats where the Congress won (the previous elections). I am not violating any coalition dharma.”
The Samajwadi Party joined the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance after it supported the government during the July 22 trust vote in parliament last year over the India-US nuclear deal.
Referring to the Congress’ request for “friendly fights” in some constituencies in the state, Singh said: “There is nothing like a friendly fight. A fight is a fight.”
The differences between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party started developing after the former sought at least 35 to 38 seats leaving the remaining 50 in the state to the latter. Finally, it had to agree to to 20-25.
A Samajwadi Party source said they were not agreeable to this since it is a bigger party in the state - a point made by Amar Singh Saturday, when he said: “We don’t need the Congress to form a government in Uttar Pradesh, but the Congress needs us to do so in the center.”
Three of the candidates named Saturday are sitting MPs, one is a legislator. The list includes three women. Eight seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes. The party has named an Urdu poet, Nawazish Alam Khan, from Muzaffarnagar constituency and a doctor, Yashveer Singh, from Nagina (SC) seat.