We won’t go to SP with a begging bowl: Cong

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said his party wanted a 'respectful alliance' with SP,but would not go to them with a begging bowl.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: February 16, 2009 7:32:41 pm

A DAY after the SP said it would not oppose the candidature of NCP chief Sharad Pawar for the post of Prime Minister,AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh on Monday said his party wanted a “respectful alliance” with the SP,but would not go to them with a begging bowl.

“Samjhauta ho sakta hai,par hum katora lekar bhikh nahi mangenge (there could be a compromise but we won’t go to them with a begging bowl),” said Singh,who was in Lucknow to address a Panchayti Raj convention organised by the state unit of the Congress.

“We decided to enter into an alliance with the SP as it is a secular party,unlike the BJP or the BSP. However,the talks are stuck over a few seats as both of us have strong and capable candidates for these seats. But we cannot enter into seat-sharing just on the basis of the performance in the last election as there has been delimitation and equations have changed.”

The SP has been insisting on seats which it had won in the last election,and also the seats where its candidates were placed second. Further,it does not want to part with seats from where leaders like Raj Babbar and Beni Prasad Verma,who have since joined the Congress,had contested. It also wants seats in some other states.

The Congress,on the other hand,has made it clear that it will have only state-level tie-up. In UP,it is insisting on certain seats,and does not mind “friendly contests”.

Singh said,”Accepting a friendly fight should not be difficult for the SP as they have done it in the past also. But whatever the case may be,the alliance has to be a respectful one.”

Singh said the Congress had again asked SP leaders to do a re-evaluation of all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. It has also asked the SP to assess the strength and capability of candidates from both parties on the seats where talks are stuck and then make a decision.

Asked about the final word on the alliance from Congress,he said,”Even the notification for the election has not been made,so we have time for deliberations.”

The AICC general secretary took exception to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s allegation against UP Governor T V Rajeswar that he was acting as an agent of the BSP.

“They should not drag someone of the stature of a Governor into petty politics. Rajeswarji is a good citizen and has had a respectful past,” he said.

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