Declaring the 24 seats it will be contesting in the assembly elections in Maharashtra, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday expressed its displeasure at having been kept waiting by the Congress party. SP spokesperson Abdul Qadir Chaudhary accused the Congress of ignoring other secular forces.
At a press meet, Chaudhary said, “For the past three months, we have been making overtures to the Congress, but there has been no response from them. Our only aim in forming an alliance was to forge a secular front, so that communal forces could be defeated. But unfortunately, the Congress has not been taking us seriously,” said Choudhary.
The SP is peeved that though unofficial talks have been held, there has been no official confirmation about an alliance.
The constituencies announced by SP include Kurla, Kherwadi, Mumbadevi, Versova, Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar, Vikhroli, Bhiwandi, Mumbra-Kalwa, Malegaon and Jalgaon. The candidates will be declared next week. The SP currently has three legislators in the Assembly, and enjoys support in small pockets in the state. In July, Abu Azmi, SP’s Maharashtra chief, proposed an alliance with the Congress, demanding at least 10 seats for his party.
The Congress, meanwhile, denied the allegations. “We always want to join forces with secular parties, but we have not received any proposal for an alliance from the SP, till date. How can we talk without any proposal?” said Raju Waghmare, spokesperson, Maharashtra Congress.