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SP to field strong candidate against Sonia

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) The Samajwadi Party today asserted that it would try to queer the pitch for Congress President Sonia Gandhi by fielding a strong candidate against her in the May 8 Rae Bareli Lok Sabha byelection.

''We will definitely field a strong candidate against Ms Gandhi,'' said SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Mr Yadav, who was addressing a joint press conference with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.

Chandrababu Naidu, said the SP had definitely a strong presence in the Rae Bareli constituency, which was evident from the party coming out triumphant in four assembly segments in the last assembly elections.

He said the party would decide its candidate and the name would be announced in ''three-four days.'' Asked whether it would be possible for the SP to give a strong fight to the Congress President, he said, ''Rae Bareli is not a big issue. We have some 50-60 seats which are our strongholds. I can fight from at least 25 parliamentary and 40-50 assembly seats.'' Mr Yadav was referring to Ms Gandhi's decision to recontest from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat which she vacated last month following the 'office of profit' controversy.

He said Ms Gandhi was not in a position to weaken his party.

UNI SKS/NAZ LS BD1944

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