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With break-up looming,Cong,SP sing to Muslims

Amid indications that the seat-sharing talks between them have reached a dead-end-amajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh today vowed to field candidates against the Congress...

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
March 8, 2009 1:41:51 am

Samajwadi Party holds yet another meeting of Ulemas; Cong sorry for Babri demolition,says will never break bread with Kalyan

Amid indications that the seat-sharing talks between them have reached a dead-end -Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh today vowed to field candidates against the Congress -both the parties have begun frantic efforts to win over Muslims,a community crucial for their performance in the state that sends the highest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

While the SP organised yet another meeting of Ulemas at the party headquarters,the Congress organised a Muslim rally in the state capital. A few days earlier,SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had paid a visit to the influential Islamic seminary at Deoband after which he said the clerics there had blessed him for the Lok Sabha polls.

On Saturday,the SP’s acting state president Shivpal Yadav said Muslims were safest during his party’s rule in the state.

Not to be outdone,Congress general secretary in-charge of the state Digvijay Singh,while addressing the Muslim rally in Lucknow,apologised for the 1992 Babari Masjid demolition and said it was a mistake to have accepted the affidavit of the VHP and the BJP.

Referring to Kalyan Singh,the former BJP leader said to have played a key role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid and who has since moved closer to the SP chief,Singh said under no circumstances he would share dais with the former BJP leader even if he apologised.

“There is a difference between my apology and Kalyan’s apology. He has been convicted by court but we are not. So there is no point accepting him in our alliance in any ways,” said the Congress leader.

Attacking the state government,he said,“We had increased the salary of the madrasa teachers but state government did not implement it.” On the future of ties between the Congress and the SP,the former MP CM said while the talks were still on,“it is unfortunate that SP does not agree to our idea of friendly fights as it is just a matter of seven to eight seats”.

The Congress leader did not rule out the possibility of announcement of second list of his party’s candidates,“We are working on the second list and it may come out soon.”

Congress sources said the party has prepared a second list of around 20 more candidates,which has been cleared in the screening committee meet that took place in Delhi on Friday.

Meanwhile,the SP decided to field Raghu Raj Singh Shakya from Fatehpur Sikri against Raj Babbar,a rebel Samajwadi leader who was lapped up by the Congress.

Congress unsure on Sanjay Singh
On the candidature of Sanjay Singh from Sultanpur LS seat,Digvijay Singh said “there are other candidates in the fray like Captain Satish Sharma and thus nothing can be said until the high command makes some final decision”.

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