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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, January 29, 2009
After ruling out a national alliance, Congress on Thursday dismissed suggestions of a joint manifesto with allies before the Lok Sabha elections. "There will be no joint manifesto," a senior party leader said recalling that the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA was evolved after the elections last time.

The party also denied having ever spoken of the country passing through "coalition era" even at the party's Chintan Shivir at Shimla in 2003.

At the AICC briefing after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi however suggested that future realignments with like-minded parties could take place after the elections.

"Realignment can happen after the elections not before," he said.

Asked about the future of alliance between the UPA parties Congress, RJD and LJP in Bihar in the wake one of the partners having unilaterally announced the number of seats it would contest, Dwivedi said, "We will sort out that."

On the party's alliance with Samajwadi Party in UP, the AICC leader said, "state units will hold talks on the possible alliances in their respective areas. Even in UP, the same thing will take place."

Asked whether Congress has decided to tie up with Mamta Banerjee-led Trinmool Congress in West Bengal, the Congress leader snapped "today we discussed about existing alliance partners."

To a poser whether the issue of global meltdown was discussed in the CWC in context of its larger political implications, the senior leader said, "It was not discussed. Rather some good things were discussed."

"There has been some improvement on this front," he claimed.