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UP: Cong, BJP shy away from tie-ups
September 18, 2006 15:03 IST
Alliances and understandings appear to be dirty words for the two major national parties -- Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party -- in Uttar Pradesh despite not being in the driver's seat ahead of the crucial assembly elections scheduled for early next year.
Even though the Lok Sabha polls in 2004 showed that the ruling party at the Centre and the main Opposition were virtually in a race for the third spot in the Hindi heartland, leaders of the two parties are despising the idea of alliances.
While Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh, currently part of the ruling alliance in the state headed by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, is in talks with the Congress for possible tie-ups, there have been divergent views in Congress on aligning with the Jat leader.
A section of the Congress is strongly against such a tie-up with RLD, apprehending that the party will be forced to play a second fiddle in Western UP as Ajit Singh will seek the lion's share of seats. This section contends that Ajit will leave Congress the 'worst' of the seats while cornering the 'winning' ones, thereby making the position of the Congress more pathetic.
All India Congress Committee general secretary Ashok Gehlot insists that the Congress planned to go alone in the polls and will consider tie-ups only on its 'own conditions and interests.'
"Our priority is to bring back the lost glory of the organisation on our own in a sustained manner and not to see any immediate profit or loss by going in for tie-ups," he said.
Another argument being given by those opposed to any tie-up with Ajit Singh is that such an arrangement will result in the Congress paying dearly for the anti-incumbency of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. The gameplan of the Congress is that despite being on the political fringes, it wants to emerge a crucial player without whose leadership or partnership the next government was not possible.
It is not a different story for the BJP with former chief minister Kalyan Singh stating that the saffron party wanted to go on its own. Singh, who is heading the BJP campaign in the state, which is also the home state of party chief Rajnath Singh, contends that tie-ups and alliances have harmed the interests of the party instead of doing good. He cites the alliance with Ajit Singh's RLD sometime back which did not work to the favour of the BJP.
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