After roadblock, Congress, SP back on talking terms
Desperate efforts are on to save the poll alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, with channels of communication between the two parties being reopened a day after talks collapsed. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi & Srinand Jha report.Updated: Mar 06, 2009, 02:32 IST
Desperate efforts are on to save the poll alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, with channels of communication between the two parties being reopened a day after talks collapsed on Wednesday.
Talks broke down after the Congress responded to the deadlock over seat-sharing by announcing its first list of 24 Lok Sabha candidates for the state. The SP had already announced the names of 64 candidates for the state’s 80 seats.
But on Thursday morning, state Congress president Rita Bahugana Joshi resumed the process by speaking to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Joshi is hopeful that the alliance will finally take shape. "In politics, there is always a possibility of understanding," she said.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, also All India Congress Committee member in charge of UP, said: “I am talking to them. The channels of communication are very much open as of now.”
Singh also rebuffed his senior party colleague Satyavrat Chaturvedi, who earlier in the day expressed happiness over the breakdown of the “unholy alliance” with the SP. “The prospective alliance is neither unholy nor is it over,” he said.
UPA close to sealing the deal in Bihar
The UPA partners in Bihar are close to hammering out adjustments for the state’s 40 seats. Last-minute consultations are still on among leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Congress.
According to the contours of the understanding, the RJD will contest 20 seats (down from 26 in 2004), the LJP 14 (up from 8) and the Congress 5 (up from 4).
After two days of hectic parleys in Patna, RJD president Lalu Prasad and LJP state unit president Pashupati Kumar Paras arrived in New Delhi on Thursday to finalise the arrangement.
And Senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde called on LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan at his residence to discuss the specifics.
“The arrangement of 2004 is not relevant on this occasion. Some changes are very much possible,” Shinde told reporters after the half-hour meeting.