The Congress is unhappy over the Samajwadi Partys (SP) unilateral announcement of candidates for 29 Lok Sabha seats,including some on which the party wanted to field its own candidates. The party,however,has decided not to act in haste.
While several state party leaders have expressed their displeasure in continuing talks with the SP for an electoral alliance,All India Congress Committee general secretary Digvijay Singh and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Rita Bahuguna Joshi indicated that the matter will be decided by the party high command.
The party has objections on a few seats,especially Barabanki and Rampur. As far as Lucknow is concerned,we wanted to have detailed discussion with them so that we can come up with the best candidate. But if they have announced the name of Sanjay Dutt,we will not oppose it, said Singh. The Congress wanted to field retired bureaucrat P L Punia from Barabanki and Begum Noor Bano from Rampur.
About the Phulpur seat,on which the UPCC president wanted to contest,Singh said: I have not spoken to our party president on the issue. We will try to resolve the matter with SP by asking them to leave these seats to us.
Joshi has made no secret of her desire to contest from Phulpur,which was won by the SP in the last elections. A few days ago,she told mediapersons that she had asked the constituency in charge to consider her name in the panel of candidates.
The SP has fielded Shayam Charan Gupta from Phulpur. Atiq Ahmed,who had won in the last election,has been expelled from the party for defying the whip during trust vote in the Lok Sabha. For Rampur,the SP has retained Jayaprada,the sitting MP.
When asked about calling off the alliance with SP,Singh said: Nothing can be said as of now.
Joshi too seemed unwilling to discuss the matter. Since I had some pre-scheduled programmes for Saturday,I will fly to Delhi and discuss the matter with the party high command. The high command will take the final decision hopefully by Monday.