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SP for secular Centre: Amar Singh

Samajwadi Party's Amar Singh said that his party was working to provide a secular alternative at the centre.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Lucknow
UPDATED ON APR 27, 2004 08:58 PM IST

In the midst of speculation that the Samajwadi Party might play a key role in the event of a hung Parliament, general secretary Amar Singh on Tuesday said that his party was only working to provide a secular alternative at the Centre.

Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Singh said that the statement of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other BJP leaders on "similarities" between SP and BJP were aimed at confusing and dividing the Muslim vote bank of the party.

"If Vajpayee did not find any ideological differences with the SP, he can join our party after explaining to the country the Best Bakery matter, the Gujarat massacre and other contentious issues and tender an apology to the country," he said.

"The BJP is an expert in spreading rumours and the statements are a conspiracy against the SP," Singh said.

To a question on speculation about the possibility of SP supporting NDA after the elections, he said "our party is committed to work towards providing a secular alternative at the Centre and is in regular touch with the CPI (M) General Secretary Harikishen Singh Surjeet."

On Congress' appeal to SP on withdrawing candidates in Madhya Pradesh to avoid a division in secular vote, Singh said his party would consider doing so provided Congress withdrew its candidates in Uttar Pradesh.

"The condition of SP in Madhya Pradesh is the same as that of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and if the latter can do the same here we will oblige them in Madhya Pradesh," he said.

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