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Next UP polls: PDF may contest 147 seats

July 11, 2006 18:21 IST

Predicting a tough time for Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, the newly-formed Peoples Democratic Front on Tuesday indicated that it might contest in 147 seats in the next Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and the ruling party would find it difficult to win even in 30 seats if Muslims are united.

"The PDF has identified 147 seats in the state where Muslim population ranged from 20 to 50 per cent," party general secretary Nehaluddin and parliamentary board president Mohmmad Arshad Khan told reporters in Lucknow.

"If Muslims are united in the state, Yadav would find it difficult to win even 30 seats in the next Assembly polls," they claimed.

Nehaluddin and Khan said the PDF could have an alliance with the UP United Democratic Front floated by Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari in the near future.

"Talks with UP UDF are on... There could be an alliance if not merger," they said.

The two leaders said the PDF was in favour of forging a broad alliance of democatic and secular forces for providing good governance, democracy, development and social justice. Supporting the Jan Morcha, which has been spearheading an agitation against handing over of land to Reliance Energy for a power project in Dadri, the PDF demanded the resignation of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for "feigning ignorance" about police action on farmers recently.

Nehaluddin and Khan alleged that the state government was behaving like a "middleman for corporate houses".

"The state government should explain as to why it allotted 2,500 acres of land to Reliance Energy though only 750 acres were needed for setting up the power project," they said adding, "we condemn the lathicharge on farmers."

They demanded the deal be scrapped and fresh tenders be invited for the project.

Nehaluddin and Khan termed the reported efforts by Yadav to mend fences with Muslim clergy as "mere poster activity" keeping in mind the coming elections.

They, however, said the recent meeting between the PDF chairman Maulana Kalbe Jawwad and Yadav was a religious one where Jawwad had taken up some religious issues.

When asked about the reported attempts by the Samajwadi Party chief to rope in Muslim clergy, the PDF leaders said these were nothing but an "eyewash" keeping an eye on the elections.

The PDF leaders also held Yadav responsible for the recent communal riots in Aligarh and Mau.

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