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UP: SP, Cong to jointly contest LS polls

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September 01, 2008 17:11 IST

The Samajwadi Party and Congress on Monday decided to jointly contest the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh [Images], with the SP also seeking alliance in four other states including Madhya Pradesh [Images], Maharashtra and Karnataka.

After a marathon four-hour-long talk with a Congress delegation led by party general secretary Rahul Gandhi [Images], SP general secretary Amar Singh [Images] said that the seat-sharing would be carried out with "winnability" as the criteria in the state.

Sending out a signal of warmth and goodwill towards the Congress leadership, Singh told reporters that if in any eventuality, the alliance does not work out, "we will not oppose Sonia Gandhi [Images] and Rahul in their constituencies".

The SP leader said that talks in which AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh and UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi also participated, were held in cordial atmosphere and the overriding sentiment was one of unity to face the challenges ahead.

"Just like the Congress is asking for more seats in UP, despite being weak there, similarly we also asked them to help us in states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand [Images] and Karnataka, where we have a marginal presence," Singh said implying thereby that the SP was in favour of a broad-based alliance comprising several states.

"Though Digvijay Singh and Rita Bahuguna Joshi are not authorised to speak about any other state apart from UP, I took the advantage of Rahul's presence and sought the Congress' alliance in other states also," the SP leader said.

He added that in UP, both the parties would field strong candidates with grassroot support and who could give a tough fight to their opponents.

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