Cong to give 50 seats to SP in UP in pre-poll allaince

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Lucknow, Jul 4 (UNI) Even as the Congress-Samajwadi Party pre-poll alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is yet to be announced formally, the Congress is willing to give 50 seats to the SP in Uttar Pradesh.

A high-level meeting which took place in New Delhi early this week was of the view that a major chunk of parliamentary seats would go to the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party out of the total of 80 seats in the state.

The meeting was attended by All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary and in charge of UP affairs Digvijay Singh, UP Congress Committee (UPCC) President Dr Reeta Bahuguna Joshi, Congress Legislative Party leader Pramod Tiwari, former UPCC chief Salman Khurshid and other senior leaders.

According to highly placed sources in the Congress, the party while fully realising its beleaguered position in the state would agree to give 50 seats to SP which has 39 MPs in the Lok Sabha from UP.

In the larger tie-up being envisaged, the Congress, in all probability, would contest about 25 seats including Rae Bareli and Amethi presently represented by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi respectively.

As per the current scenario, the Congress has even decided to stake claim on the Lucknow parliamentary seat represented by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart Atal Behari Vajpayee.

''Negotiations are underway to include the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in this arrangement with the likelihood of party getting three seats to contest as part of the tie-up,'' sources told UNI here.

''The Lalu Prasad-led Rashtria Janata Dal (RJD) also wants a seat or two to contest in UP in the coming Lok Sabha polls under the agreement with Congress-SP,'' they added.

Sources claimed that the Congress and SP tie up in UP would merge as the single largest vote bank alliance in the state with a total of over 44 per cent votes secured by these parties in the 2007 assembly polls.

While the SP secured around 32 per cent votes winning 98 seats in the assembly, the Congress got nearly 12 per cent and won 22 seats.

Meawnhile, the Congress is so far upbeat over talks with the SP, as the applications for the Lok Sabha candidature have increased manifold ever since the reports of possible Congress-SP tie up circulated.

''We are already receiving over 30 applications daily after the new political development emerged in the state,'' sources further claimed.

They said the Congress, which has 9 Lok Sabha seats in UP, had already identified 30-32 Lok Sabha seats in the state which it considered as 'strong' for the party in terms of electoral potential.


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