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Congress-RLD hold discussions; alliance on the cards

November 18, 2011 03:05 IST

Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal held a crucial meeting in New Delhi on Thursday night to finalise seat sharing arrangements for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections to be held early next year.

All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh Digvijay Singh and party's screening committee in-charge for the state Mohan Prakash held detailed deliberations on Thursday night with the RLD chief Ajit Singh during which the contentious issues are said to have been resolved, Congress sources said.

A formal announcement on the outcome of the talks is likely to be made in a day or two, the sources said.

The meeting took place a day after the RLD chief, apparently irked at the delay in stitching an alliance, said on Wednesday that though talks are on with Congress "this does not mean a tie-up is necessarily taking place. There is still no certainty".

Meanwhile, the screening committee of Congress on Thursday finalised names of forty more candidates for the assembly elections in the state.

A final decision on their candidature will be taken by party chief Sonia Gandhi in the Central Election Committee of the Congress on November 19.

The party has so far released the list of candidates for 213 constituencies in the 403-member state assembly. The third list of 78 candiates was announced on Wednesday, while the other two lists of 73 and 62 candidates were released in August and September respectively. The last CEC meeting on UP was held on November 5.

However, the party has refrained from announcing candidates on seats in western UP where RLD is said to wield considerable influence.

There has been speculation that RLD could get between 40 to 50 seats on Singh's home-turf in western UP under a tie-up with Congress. He may also be made a Cabinet minister at the Centre.

Of the 403 seats in the UP assembly, Congress had won 22 in 2009 and is looking for a revival of its fortune in the crucial state.

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