No benefit of doubt for sitting SP MPs

Leaving nothing to chance in its preparation for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls,the Samajwadi Party is planning...

Written by Ravish Tiwari | New Delhi | Published:January 10, 2009 12:54 am

Leaving nothing to chance in its preparation for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls,the Samajwadi Party is planning to ignore about half-a-dozen sitting MPs who were suspected to have been in touch with the BSP at the time of the trust vote last July.

In fact,one such MP,on condition of anonymity,said he feared being denied ticket from his constituency for this very reason. He said a few more sitting MPs,apart from those who had already defied the party whip during the trust vote,were also likely to be denied tickets.

Their fear does not seem to be without a reason as the SP,in its first list declared on Friday,did not include all the sitting MPs despite party president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s assurance to field all sitting MPs at the time of the trust vote.

It now appears that Mualayam’s assurance was a party tactic to keep his flock together after Mayawati started poaching SP MPs ahead of the trust vote. SP MPs Munawwar Hasan,Ateeq Ahmed,Afzal Ansari,Rajnarain Budholia,Jaiprakash Rawat and S P S Baghel had defied the party whip and voted alongside the BSP at the time of the trust vote on July 22 last year.

Besides its MPs,the SP is likely to send a strong message to the Congress too by announcing another set of about 20 candidates in the next few days. Given the hope of seat-sharing talks with the Congress concluding amicably,the SP is likely to exclude the seats being demanded by the Congress in its next list.

However,sources said that the party is likely to end speculation regarding accommodating Ajit Singh-led RLD in its alliance with the Congress while announcing its next list of candidates.

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