Eye on ‘secular’ votes, SP seeks to ally with Congresshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/eye-on-secular-votes-sp-seeks-to-ally-with-congress/

Eye on ‘secular’ votes, SP seeks to ally with Congress

Azmi said if the alliance materialises, SP will contest fewer seats, not 50 that it will if it had to go alone.

Seeking to extend its good run in the Uttar Pradesh bypolls, the Samajwadi Party has now approached Congress for seat-sharing in the single-phase Maharashtra Assembly election scheduled on October 15

The SP, which has base among Muslims and Hindi-speaking north Indians, has three MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly. “We are in talks with Congress regarding seat-sharing in Assembly polls. We are trying to prevent division of secular votes,” Abu Asim Azmi, SP’s Maharashtra unit president told The Indian Express.

Azmi, an MLA from Bhiwandi East, said if the alliance materialises, SP will contest fewer seats, not 50 that it will if it had to go alone.
The SP’s move comes days after the All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) announced to contest Maharashtra polls. At SP’s headquarters in Lucknow, office bearers had no information about alliance with Congress but Azmi claimed that he “had talks with party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and he authorised me to go ahead”.

AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi confirmed that his outfit will contest the polls irrespective of SP’s apprehensions. “We are not the only ones who have the responsibility of preventing division of secular votes,” he said. The SP had contested 31 seats getting 7.71 per cent votes.