Almost there: SP on Cong tie-up

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said he was close to clinching a deal with the Congress.....

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:March 3, 2009 2:21 am

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said he was close to clinching a deal with the Congress.

“SP-Congress alliance will certainly take place and it would be clinched very soon. From our side there is no problem and we are trying our best (to finalise it). We have not announced candidates for the seats claimed by the Congress,” he told reporters after a meeting with Kalyan Singh.

“We have almost finished declaring our candidates,” Mulayam said,announcing the candidature of Mitrasen Yadav,who crossed over from the BSP,from Faizabad. With this,the number of SP candidates has gone up to 62 in the state which has 80 Lok Sabha seats. Of the remaining 18 seats,the SP is likely to take one more,Ghosi,from where it plans to field a Muslim candidate.

On his meeting with Kalyan,he said,“Kalyan is my friend and I am not supposed to divulge what I discussed with my friend.”

Buoyed by the bypoll victory in Bhadohi Assembly,which has a sizeable Dalit,Brahmin and Muslim presence,Mulayam asserted that former BJP leader Kalyan Singh’s entry into the party had not annoyed the Muslims.

While SP sources claimed the alliance had almost been finalised,sources in the Congress said they wanted to contest no less than 24 seats: 17 in alliance and a friendly contest on seven.

The SP supremo is,however,against any friendly contest and is learnt to have conveyed this to Sonia on Sunday. Sonia,on her part,stuck to the demand for 24 seats,even if it led to friendly contests.

The Congress is awaiting a reply from the SP chief,who is likely to hold another meeting with the Congress president before the alliance takes final shape.

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