HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Azmi calls for alliance of 'secular thinkers' for Maha polls

PTI  Mumbai, August 11, 2014
First Published: 15:51 IST(11/8/2014) | Last Updated: 15:53 IST(11/8/2014)

Citing the example of JD(U)-RJD tie-up for the upcoming Bihar by-polls, SP leader Abu Azmi on Monday called for an alliance of "secular thinkers" for the Maharashtra Assembly elections, for which his party has sent a proposal to the Congress.

"(JD(U) leader) Nitish Kumar and (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad were at loggerheads for 20 years. But they are wise enough to come together to jointly stop communal forces from gaining power in Bihar. The Congress and NCP should take a similar stand and invite all secular thinkers to come together and stop communal forces in Maharashtra," Azmi said.

An alliance proposal has been sent to the state Congress leadership and the final outcome could be expected 'very soon', said Azmi, the SP's Maharashtra unit chief.

"We have given a proposal to the Congress and NCP to join hands and fight elections unitedly. A final decision might be taken very soon as the polls are just a couple of months away," he said.

A 'grand alliance' will ensure that secular votes do not get divided in the state Assembly polls, he said.

"Our ideology and the ideology of Congress is different. But we need to remember that our votebank is the same. A new front has to be made here that will ensure that secular votes do not get divided in the upcoming elections," Azmi said.

Whenever it seemed that communal parties would get a stronghold at the Centre, and the Congress was falling apart, the SP always backed it (Congress). It is a similar case in Maharashtra.

The SP cannot let communal forces take hold of the state government, hence an alliance has to be forged at the earliest, he said.

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