RS polls understanding brightens up the SP-Congress alliance in LS

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Lucknow, Nov 10 (UNI) The selection of common candidate for Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh is seen as an occasion for the smooth alliance between Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) for the coming Lok Sabha polls in the state, much to the discomfiture of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party.

The alliance talks, which have been in the air for quite some time, are reaching finality, it seems as far as the poll alliance between two parties is concerned.

Much significance could be attached to the statement of Congress general secretary and incharge of UP Affairs Digvijay Singh when he told reporters here that ''the selection of the common candidate for Rajya Sabha was a collective decision of the Congress and SP.'' He minced no words, while saying the party was thankful to SP as it was always there with the Congress to thwart the evil designs of communal forces. '' We want alliance with the SP in coming Lok Sabha polls,'' he said with a smile.

Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP being a senior party in UP may find it easy to negotiate its way in seat adjustments in the state beacuse it looked like the Congress stooped to settle for Common candidate-Mohammad Adib, who had resigned from the Congress on Batla house encounter very recently.

A senior Congress leader on the condition of anonymity told UNI that the party ranks were not amused at the selection of Rajya Sabha candidate and in the larger picture, the SP supremo may have its way in the seat adjustment in the offing. This feeling naturally evolves from the fact that the Congress decided on the candidature of Adib as the names of likes of Salman Khursheed, Reeta Bahuguna Joshi and Pramod Tiwari were doing the rounds as the party candidate for UP RS polls.

The SP also relented a bit, seemigly to have cordial relations till the Lok Sabha alliance negotiations, leaving out the name of Abu Azmi as the first choice for the RS poll candidate.

Unlike Mr Digvijay Singh, the senior SP leaders Ambika Chaudhary and Akhilesh Yadav were not so forthcoming on the issue of alliance understandably so when they said the party high command would say anything on this. ''We will let you know when it happens,''Mr Chaudhary said.

SP with 38 of 80 LS seats in Uttar Pradesh is all likely to dictate its terms in the alliance and Congress with nine seats will have to settle with the less at their command.

On the other hand, Mayawati-led BSP had to re-adjust its strategy as the SP-Congress combine seemed to be a formidable combination in Uttar Pradesh. With the Rajya Sabha candidature to a Muslim candidate coupled with traditional muslim-support along with backward votes, the SP can prove to be a real headache to the BSP as an alliance partner of the Congress in UP.

UNI SB JAS AKJ BD1620

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