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Our doors are always open: Congress to SP

Source: PTI
March 13, 2009 20:39 IST
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With the seat-sharing between them virtually on the rocks, the Congress, possibly having post-poll scene in mind, on Friday told its ally Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh that doors will always remain open from its side.

At the same time, the Congress said it will release a second list of candidates for Lok Sabha polls for the state in the next three-four days.

"There is a meeting of our party in the next 3-4 days to decide what should be the strategy. It would be decided one way or the other," All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of UP, Digvijay Singh told media persons in New Delhi.

Asked whether the alliance with SP was over in the state, Singh said, "From our side, the doors will always be open".

Seeking to put the blame on SP for the failure in reaching the seat adjustment, Digvijay said that in every alliance, one has to decide candidates after a consensus is reached with the alliance partner.

"Unfortunately, SP has been releasing its list consistently without consulting us" he said.

The Congress leader said the party always held that except 6-8 seats, there could be an alliance with the SP in the remaining 72-74 seats.

"Friendly fight is not a new concept. But this was not acceptable to SP," Singh added. He also said the Congress will contest more than 24 seats.

While SP has declared its candidates for 74 of the 80 seats in the state so far, the Congress too has released its first list of 24 candidates.

To a query whether the secular vote would be divided in case the alliance does not work out in the Mayawati-ruled state, Singh said, "An alliance in Delhi does not mean an alliance in every booth. Alliance is successful when there is a complete transfer of votes."

The AICC General Secretary said the party wanted the alliance to come through. He, however added, "We are prepared for all eventuality. There is no question of being taken unawares."

On reasons why the alliance was not fructifying on the ground, Singh said, "There are 6-8 seats where both the SP and the Congress are strong. We are sceptical whether votes will be transferred at the grassroots level in these seats."

"Now, we have to look for Plan 'B'," he said, without revealing what the plan would be.

Plan 'A' of the party was to enter into an alliance in 72-74 seats and then have friendly fights in the remaining seats.

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