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No national alliance for Lok Sabha polls, says Congress

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 29, 2009 16:46 IST
Last Updated: January 29, 2009 17:49 IST

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In a move aimed at avoiding pressure from regional allies seeking seats in several states, the Congress on Thursday ruled out a national alliance in the coming Lok Sabha elections, limiting adjustments to the states.

"We do not have an alliance at the national level. We have alliance partners and seat adjustments at the state level..." All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee in New Delhi [Images].

The Congress stand assumes significance in the context of allies like Nationalist Congress Party, Lok Janshakti Party and the Samajwadi Party making demands on the Congress for seats outside the states of their main influence.

Dwivedi said, "An alliance is basically a game of numbers. It depends on who gets how many seats. This will be clear only after the elections".

"Hypothetically speaking, if the Congress gets absolute majority, the situation will be different," he added.

To a volley of questions on whether the United Progressive Alliance was disintegrating, he said, "Of course, there is UPA. But the UPA does not fight elections. It is the political parties in UPA which contest elections".

The Congress leader said that seat sharing will differ from state to state. "The state leadership (of Congress) will keep in view the local situation and the state level party (ally) and take a decision with the support of the AICC," he added.

Dwivedi stressed that, "The Congress will seek votes on its own, except where it is in alliance". In those states, where the party has entered into an alliance, it would seek the votes for its alliance partners also, he said.

The meeting was attended by 29 members of the CWC, which is the highest decision making body of the party.

Dwivedi refused to give details about the opinions expressed by CWC members during the meeting. He added that the discussions centered on the Congress manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Dwivedi also refused to disclose details of party chief Sonia Gandhi's [Images] campaign trips. "Her trips are coordinated by the office of the Congress president. We are not aware of the details of her trips," he said.
"The CWC wished Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] a speedy recovery. Of the 29 members, 17 expressed their opinions during the meeting," Dwivedi said.
He added that that the state units of the Congress have been asked to expedite the selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. The common minimum programme would be decided later, he told the mediapersons.

Dwivedi also dismissed reports about the NCP trying to project its chief Sharad Pawar [Images] as the prime ministerial candidate. "There is a certain procedure in such matters. We have to hold talks with them. Such matters are not decided through the media," he said.

With additional inputs from PTI

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