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Consensus eludes Cong, SP on President post

After SP delares it would not support a Congress candidate for the President's post, political hostility between the SP and Congress deepened, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: May 30, 2007 17:14 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis

Political hostility between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress deepened on Saturday after SP declared that it would not support a Congress candidate for the President's post. The new President will be elected in July.

Party General Secretary Amar Singh, categorically said on Saturday that SP would not under any circumstance prop up Congress's candidate. "I will not support any Congress candidate for the President's post," Singh told reporters at a press conference.

"The Congress will have to climb down," Singh said when asked whether there was any possibility for a consensus candidate for the post.

Singh said that SP was ready to support a candidate nominated by the Left parties but ruled out joining forces with the Left if they decide to back a Congress nominee. "SP is not the subsidiary of the left," Singh said.

Singh remained non-committal about supporting President APJ Abdul Kalam's candidature for the second time. He said that his party would take a decision on that after the poll process is completed in Uttar Pradesh.

Accusing Sonia Gandhi and Rahul of helping BJP in the UP polls, Singh charged them with having a single-point agenda of defeating a secular party led by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

"Show me one single statement made by Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka against Atal Bihari Vajpayee," during the poll campaign, Singh said.

"Their sole agenda is to defeat the SP and make way for BJP. The Congress has maintained the tradition of handing over power to BJP as they have done in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh," he said.

Singh dismissed the Congress allegation that SP and BJP were in league with each other.

He rejected Union Minister Kapil Sibal's charge about allotment of plots by the state chief minister from his "discretionary quota".

Singh claimed that Yadav had cancelled all the allotments the moment he came to know about it and ordered setting up of an independent commission to probe it.

But the SP general secretary wanted to know why Sibal is silent on the urea scam during the Congress regime (1995-96) when Rs 400 crore were paid in advance.

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