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SP to give up contest in Amethi for Cong support in Lucknow

Samajwadi Party on Wednesday said it could consider not contesting the Amethi Lok Sabha seat from where Congress has fielded Rahul Gandhi.
By Press Trust of India | PTI, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 31, 2004 05:34 PM IST

Samajwadi Party on Wednesday said it could consider not contesting the Amethi Lok Sabha seat from where Congress has fielded Rahul Gandhi if the party agreed to support the SP candidate against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lucknow.

"If the Congress extended its support to Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow, Madhu Gupta, we could think on not fielding our candidate in Amethi from where Rahul Gandhi is in the fray," SP's national general secretary Amar Singh told reporters after flagging off election campaign vehicles in Lucknow.

"The Samajwadi Party has not yet declared its candidate from Amethi and its options are still open," he said appealing to the Congress and the BSP to support his party in Lucknow against the BJP "which would also send a strong message against communalism".

Accusing the BSP of foiling attempts to field a joint candidate against Vajpayee, Singh said his party has never been against the idea.

"It was, infact, BSP leader Mayawati who was the first one to field her candidate from Lucknow," he said.

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