Accusing the Congress of betrayal, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi on Saturday said the former backtracked on alliance with his party as Congress' central leadership was not keen on it.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Azmi, the state president of Samajwadi Party, said CM Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress president Manikrao Thakre called him up on Friday night to inform that the Congress central leadership was not in favour of the alliance.
After parting ways with the NCP, Congress formed an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the upcoming state assembly elections. Two days back, SP spokesperson Abdul Qadir Chaudhary announced that his party would contest eight seats in alliance in Congress.
However, Azmi said that Thakre called him up saying that Congress workers had protested against the alliance fearing that non-Muslim voters of the Congress may be enraged at the tie-up.
Accusing the Congress of stabbing him in the back, Azmi asked, "If there was no approval from the central leadership, why did Chavan and Thakre take initiative to have an alliance with my party and announce it at a press conference?"
The SP leader also alleged that the Congress backtracking on alliance had left him with little time to get his own candidates as the last date of filing of nomination ended.
According to him, Congress has also fielded a candidate in his constituency of Mankhurd-Shivajinagar in Mumbai.
Alleging that it was Congress' plan to prevent his party from expanding base in the state, Azmi said, "I have always been against the Congress policies. But whenever we feel that Sena-BJP is growing, we have supported the Congress in the interest of secularism."
Azmi also said that he was open to (post-poll) alliance with other secular parties, but not with the Congress.