New Delhi: Angry with the Congress for unilaterally announcing 24 candidates in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls, the Samajwadi Party on Friday declared that its alliance with that party was “broken”.
“I don’t want to use any harsh words, but the alliance is broken.... The obituary of the alliance was written the day Congress had announced its list of 24 candidates in Uttar Pradesh,” SP general secretary Amar Singh told reporters here.
After days of talks on seat sharing, he suggested that there was no meeting ground as the Samajwadi Party was ready to give a maximum of 17 seats while the Congress had been demanding a minimum of 25 of the total 80 seats in the politically crucial state.
Singh’s refrain was that no political party — national or regional — gives seats it has won to any other party in the name of alliance “and the Congress wanted the best of both worlds”.
The Congress on Wednesday released a list of 24 candidates, striking back at the SP which had unilaterally announced 62 nominees so far even as talks were underway.
Singh, however, said that SP would not field candidates in Rae Bareily and Amethi from where Congress President Sonia Gandhi and and her son Rahul will contest.
“Whether the alliance takes place or not, we will not field candidates in Rae Bareily and Amethi,” Singh said.
Amar Singh said that Samajwadi Party had promised to save the UPA government and get the nuclear deal through.
“We wanted to fulfill our third promise of fighting the Lok Sabha elections in UP together. However if our offer of 17 seats is not acceptable to Congress, then we accept our fate,” the SP leader said.
He added sarcastically that “SP understands the predicament of Congress. It is a strong party in UP, where it has several strong leaders. Its strength in the state was reflected in the recent Bhadohi bypoll where it had finished seventh”.
“Our principal opponent in Uttar Pradesh is BSP, however, if we feel that in any of the constituencies, our candidate is weak in comparison to BSP and Congress has a stronger candidate, then we will support the Congress in such constituencies,” he said.
With Congress announcing its candidates on SP’s sitting seats, Singh said that “if they can put up candidates in our sitting seats, then we can also do so.... There are seats like Aligarh and Varanasi where Congress has sitting MPs. SP could field candidates on such seats”.
Amar Singh also claimed that though there were several Congress leaders who wanted to contest on SP ticket, his party will not “provoke” Congress by giving tickets to such leaders.
“We would not like to be blamed for aggravating the situation,” he said.
The SP general secretary, however, said that he still has all the respect for Sonia Gandhi and “thanked” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh for “finally accepting the utility of Samajwadi Party in saving the UPA government”.