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SP spurns BJP's call for 'common candidate' against Sonia

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Lalitpur, Apr 6 (UNI) The ruling Samajwadi Party today turned down BJP's call for a common candidate against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and instead stuck to its earlier stand of fielding a ''strong candidate'' in the May 8 bypoll to the Rae Bareli parliamentary seat.

Interacting with mediapersons here, UP Power Minister and SP general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav said that his party will will field a strong candidate against Sonia, to ensure her defeat.

''SP will fire all cylindars to ensure Sonia's defeat at the hands of a strong candidate,'' he maintained.

When queried over the BJP's call for a common candidate against the UPA chairperson, Mr Yadav said SP, by fielding a strong candidate in Rae Bareli, was capable of defeating Ms Gandhi on its own and hence would not support any common candidate.

Yesterday, former UP chief minister and BJP national vice-president Kalyan Singh had called for putting up a common candidate against Ms Gandhi who is seeking re-election from Rae Bareli.

Mr Yadav, also claimed that the future in UP belonged to SP alone, which will win over 300 seats in the 2007 assembly polls in the state.

UNI XC-ARS VD HT1720

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