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?Weak? SP man against Sonia

THE SAMAJWADI Party, which had been claiming about fielding a ?strong candidate? against Congress president Sonia Gandhi for Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, on Thursday decided to nominate Raj Kumar Chaudhury, who is virtually a non-entity.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 01:06 IST

THE SAMAJWADI Party, which had been claiming about fielding a ‘strong candidate’ against Congress president Sonia Gandhi for Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, on Thursday decided to nominate Raj Kumar Chaudhury, who is virtually a non-entity.

While announcing Chaudhary’s candidature, SP general secretary Amar Singh could not tell much about the candidate except that he was the son-in-law of SP MP from Qaisarganj Beni Prasad Verma. Chaudhury belongs to Bachhrawan in Rae Bareli.

“From today, Chaudhury will be famous” was all Amar Singh had to say about the candidate. Singh said since the SP had a strong base in the constituency, the party would give good fight to Sonia Gandhi. To a question whether the candidate would be able to retain his deposit, Amar Singh said, “We will win the election.” However, he added: “It was a fight between diya (lamp) and toofan (hurricane).” Though Singh said he would be camping in the constituency, the selection of the candidate indicated that the party was not serious about the fight. This predicament is rampant in all the parties, as they are not able to find a suitable candidate against Sonia Gandhi.

Beni Prasad verma, who had been stagnating in the party in the last few years, has suddenly been pulled out of hibernation to mobilise backward class votes for the party. However, Amar Singh said Verma was bed-ridden. Nomination to Verma’s son-in-law appeared to be an exercise to keep him in good humour in the election year. To Uma Bharti’s proposal for a joint candidate, Singh said there was no possibility of such nominee along with the BJP.

He said though SP and the Congress had been supporting each other at the Centre and in UP respectively, there was no electoral alliance between the two.

The Congress had fielded candidates in Mainpuri and Akbarpur Lok Sabha by-poll, he said. Recalling that Congress had got Mainpuri by-poll cancelled, Singh said it was also responsible for disqualification of Jaya Bachchan from the Rajya Sabha.

First Published: Apr 14, 2006 01:06 IST