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Cong asks SP to withdraw its MP candidates

Arjun Singh asked Samajwadi to withdraw its candidates in Madhya Pradesh, as they would only divide secular votes and benefit BJP.
PTI | By Press Trust of India
UPDATED ON APR 25, 2004 09:22 PM IST

Senior Congress leader Arjun Singh on Sunday asked Samajwadi Party to withdraw its 26 candidates in the Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh saying their remaining in the fray would only divide the secular votes and benefit BJP.

"If SP agrees to our proposal, secular forces can remain united and fight the BJP. In this scenario, Congress can make a significant difference in Madhya Pradesh," Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Arjun Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

Although he appealed to SP to reciprocate the support it extends to Mulayam Singh's party in Uttar Pradesh, the veteran Congress leader said it has not approached Mayawati's Bahujan Samajwadi Party, which has also put up 21 candidates in Madhya Pradesh.

"The contest is direct between Congress Party and BJP. In spite of the debacle in the assembly elections, the party workers are making a determined effort to win as many seats as possible from BJP in Lok Sabha elections," Singh said

Referring to SP, which had won seven seats in assembly elections in the state and on that basis put up 26 candidates for Lok Sabha polls, Singh said "it is obvious that there is no rational political calculation and SP cannot claim for success in any Parliamentary constituencies."

Instead, he said "every candidate of the SP in Madhya Praesh will only divide the secular votes to the extent that they can, which will go directly to benefit the BJP."

SP has put up 26 candidates out of the 29 parliamentary constituencies in Madhya Pradesh for the general elections on May five and May 10.

Referring to 1977 polls in Madhya Pradesh, Singh said the Congress had lost in the Lok Sabha elections but won the assembly elections. "A similar thing is expected this time," he claimed.

Singh, who is assisting the party in regaining the Satna seat, alleged that the high-profile promises of bijli-pani-sadak (electricity, water and roads) made by BJP before the assembly elections have not been met.

"Roads can not be built overnight. The electricity situation has worsened. The incidences of decoity has increased in the state," he said.

Singh did not like to comment on the possibility of a Congress-SP tie up after the polls, but said a decision can be taken only after the party position becomes clear after elections.

"Congress is on the right track. The overall impression is that we will make a significant difference," he said.

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