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SP intensifies drive before local body polls

SP is trying to reach out to the trading and minority communities in the state, which will play a crucial role in the poll.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2006 23:23 IST

With the local bodies election becoming quite challenging for the ruling Samajwadi Party in the urban sector, moves are afoot to further intensify the drive to reach out to the trading and minority communities in the state, which will play a crucial role in the poll.

The SP, which was so far considered a rural-based party, has for the first time been trying to equally demonstrate its strength in urban areas.

There is a feeling in the party that it only "stands to gain and nothing to loose" as SP general secretary Shahid Siddique put in Lucknow on Thursday.

He said from one Mayor in Allahabad in the last election, the party was poised to win nearly half a dozen mayoral seats in the state. Siddique said from rural areas the party was set to enter the urban sector with a good performance.

Even though the minority community has been showing signs of crack in its traditional support to SP, Siddique said there was still unwavering support of the community. "It has further consolidated because of chief minister Muayam Singh Yadav's largess to the community", he said and claimed that there was a cakewalk in Lucknow.

The SP candidate Dr Madhu Gupta, who has been facing the multi-cornered contest, said that there was no contest in the state capital. She has presumed her victory as a forgone conclusion. Siddique said the opposition had failed to field a strong candidate in Lucknow.

While claiming that the overall law and order situation was far better than any other state, Siddique said the results of the civic polls would not have any bearing on the forthcoming state assembly election. He, however, said that the expansion of the organisation in urban areas would further help in the Assembly poll.

Dr Madhu Gupta said there was a good response of the people. Dr Gupta, who had performed well in the last mayoral election because of a good Muslim support has now been making desperate efforts to stop dent into the minority vote bank by the Congress, which has fielded an equally strong candidate Prof Manzoor Ahmad.

Email Masoodul Hasan: mhasan@hindustantimes.com