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Sonia not to canvass against UPA allies

January 22, 2005 20:30 IST

The compulsions of coalition politics at the Centre have apparently forced Congress president Sonia Gandhi to restrain herself from campaigning in constituencies in Bihar where United Progressive Alliance's allies have put up candidates for the assembly polls beginning February 3.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni said though Gandhi would be Congress' 'star campaigner', she would not canvass in areas where the Congress was in a 'friendly fight' with allies like the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Highly placed party sources said Gandhi would also campaign in Haryana and Jharkhand, the two other states going to polls in February. Her campaign programme is yet to be finalised, they added.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Arjun Singh, who was the party's chief negotiator during seat-sharing talks with the RJD and Left parties, said his party would try to avoid 'confrontation' with candidates of Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janashakti Party in constituencies where the LJP had significant support.


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