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Poll alliance with SP over: Cong
Published on 19 Mar. 2009 1:03 AM IST
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Putting all speculation to rest, the Congress party Wednesday announced that possibilities of a poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh were over. “Certainly the possibilities of alliance with Samajwadi Party are over now. They are looking at the interest of their party and we are looking at the interest of our own party. There is no time left for any talks now,” Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Congress party chief in Uttar Pradesh, told reporters here. Asked about the number of seats the Congress would contest, Joshi said: “We would contest more number of seats than you can imagine.” To a question on the release of its second list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh, Joshi said that the party’s Central Election Committee met under the leadership of party chief Sonia Gandhi Wednesday and the deliberations would continue Thursday and the list would be released after that. Joshi said the Congress would contest almost all the seats where the party had come first, second and third in the last parliamentary elections. Talks between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party for a poll alliance in the electorally important state with 80 parliamentary constituencies were going on for long. The Samajwadi Party had offered 17 seats to the Congress, which had said that it would not accept anything less than 24. In 2004, the Congress had contested elections on 73 seats and won nine. Samajwadi Party had contested 68 seats in alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), a party with some influence in western Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party won 35 seats.

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