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Abu Azmi calls for secular front ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Samajwadi Party MP and party's Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi on Tuesday said that if a secular front comprising Congress...

Samajwadi Party MP and party’s Maharashtra unit chief Abu Asim Azmi on Tuesday said that if a secular front comprising Congress,NCP,Samajwadi Party (SP) and Republican Party of India (RPI) is formed ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,Samajwadi Party will claim three seats in Maharashtra for the upcoming polls. However Azmi at the same time clarified that in the absence of such secular front,the SP would independently contest 15 seats on its own in the state.

Azmi,who was in Pune before heading to Indapur to attend a kisan rally,told reporters,“All the secular parties including Congres,NCP,SP and should come together and form an alliance to contest Lok Sabha polls. We support NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s view that a secular front should be formed ahead of the LS polls. Once this secular front is formed SP will claim three seats in Maharashtra. But in the absence of any such front,our party will contest 15 seats in the state. A few of the places where the party is likely to contest election are Thane,Bhiwandi,Chandrapur,Aurangabad,though we are yet to finalise about it.”

He added that in the absence of a secular front,SP was eyeing to contest election from Pune as well. As he said,Samajwadi’s one seat in North-West Mumbai has been finalised with Azmi himself as the candidate.

“We want the secular front to come into existence. But this does not mean that the Samajwadi Party is not strong enough. If this front does not take place,communal parties will obviously try to benefit out of it. However,if NCP joins hands with BJP and Shiv Sena,then SP will not support them. Congress and BJP are the two big national parties in India. Our party will have to support Congress,as there is no other big secular party,” he said.

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Taking a dig at the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) and its chief Raj Thackeray,he demanded that MNS should be deregistered and should be declared as a party of gundas . “MNS is indulging in divisive politics and is creating a division between Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The MNS workers are posing a law and order threat to the state.”

The MP also urged the state government to regularise the slums before 2000,as the Congress had announced to do. “They state should issue a notification to resolution before the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Talking about the disagreement between Maharashtra and Karnataka over the Belgaum issue,Azmi said that even though there should be no fight between the two states,Samajwadi Party supports Maharashtra’s demand.

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Criticising the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP),he dumped it by saying that BSP functioned like a trading company. “In order to obtain candidature,they ask for money. Whoever pays more money,is given the ticket to contest election. BSP’s vote bank is also fixed.”

First published on: 21-02-2009 at 01:23:08 am
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