The blame-game over the perceived failure to work out an alliance continued between the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday, although leaders of neither party went as far as to say that talks over seat sharing had collapsed.
SP general secretary Amar Singh said the “obituary” of the proposed alliance had been written on the very day that the Congress announced names of 24 candidates – including those constituencies from which the SP had already fielded nominees.
Threatening a tit-for-tat, Singh said the SP could field candidates for some of the same seats for which the Congress had nominated candidates.
At the same time, he asserted that the SP would do nothing that could rupture the prospects of an alliance with the Congress.
Reiterating the hope that an arrangement would shortly be worked out between the two parties, SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters at Lucknow that his party would not field candidates at Rae Bareilly and Amethi – the constituencies represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively.
Striking a conciliatory posture, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said that – despite the announcement of the first list of the Congress - there was no change in the situation as of Friday. “We both (Congress and SP) stand to gain by the alliance and it should be discussed across the table,” he said.
Amar Singh also claimed that though there were several Congress leaders who wanted to contest on SP ticket, his party will not "provoke" Congress by giving tickets to such leaders. We would not like to be blamed for aggravating the situation, he said.