Confusing signal on Congress- Samajwadi Party alliance talk
There is no clear signal yet on the pre-alliance talk between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. While the party vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda indicated that the talk is over, Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agrawal dismissed it saying “it is his personal opinion. The new national president of the party is yet deciding on the issue".
Lucknow: There is no clear signal yet on the pre-alliance talk between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. While the party vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda indicated that the talk is over, Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agrawal dismissed it saying “it is his personal opinion. The new national president of the party is yet deciding on the issue".
The report of failure of the talk got in circulation with announcement of first list of candidates of the party for the upcoming assembly election on Friday morning. The list contains names of candidates for at least seven seats which were won by the Congress in the previous poll. It was taken as a hint of end of tie-up talk. A clearer picture may emerge at the end of the day or early on Saturday.
The party was demanding over 100 out of the total 403 seats. Initially, the ruling party had agreed that it would leave between 100 and 103 seats for the Congress--- the party can fight 90 seats on its own symbol and the rest on the Samajwadi Party symbol, a la Bihar.
There could be no difficulty in offering these seats to the Congress as the S P -Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance talk had failed to materialise. However, some of the leaders in the ruling party were opposed to offering of so many seats to the beleaguered Congress.
Nanda is on record saying that the party did not deserved to be given more than 54 seats but the party was read to leave 94 seats for them. “This was the maximum we could do for the party". The hope is not totally lost going by the statement of Agrawal.
Seven seats held by the Congress for which SP candidates have been announced include some traditional party seats. For instance Kidwai Nagar and Khurja. The party had won the Khurja seat several times but no weight-age was given to this by the possible alliance partner.
What hurt the party most was that seat held by leader of the party in assembly Pradeep Mathur was also not spared. The SP has allotted ticket for this seat to Ashok Agrawal. Nakud and Shamli are some of the other Congress seats for which candidates have been announced by the party.
The 191-candidate list has 17 women candidates and 48 Muslims. The latter have been fielded largely in western part of the state where sizeable Muslims leave. They account for 26 per cent of the population in the region.
The list has a tinge of nepotism too. Sons of senior leaders Shivpal Singh Yadav and Azam Khan have been selected as candidates. Azam, perhaps, got a reward for his peace efforts during the Yadav family feud.
Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is no more undisputed leader. His writ does not run any more. At least this is what one gathers from the scrutiny of the list, For, 12 names from the list prepared by him have been deleted. Some of them may rebel against the party and contest as independents.