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Congress cheats allies, uses and throws them, says Amar

Congress cheats allies, uses and throws them, says Amar

Author: Pioneer News Service
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: February 12, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/155964/Congress-cheats-allies-uses-and-throws-them-says-Amar.html

The Congress and the Samajwadi Party continued to trade charges on Wednesday even as the seat-sharing dialogue has come to a halt and both sides seem to be exploring other options. SP general secretary Amar Singh would meet Sharad Pawar on Thursday to discuss the possibility of forging together an alternative alliance.

While the SP accused the Congress of adopting a "use and throw" policy with its allies, the latter hit back, saying "problems" with an ally arise when it starts mixing up personal (Mulayam's disproportionate assets case) issues with politics.

"When the utility is over, they (Congress) do not even recognise (their allies). That is clearly visible," Amar Singh told reporters in Mumbai. He recalled that the cases against BSP supremo Mayawati vanished after her party supported the Congress in the presidential election.

"Once elections are over, they resurface," he said, adding that he was no friend of Mayawati. Citing another instances, he said cases were slapped depending on the Congress' relationship with the other party.

"When the relationship with Left sours, the CBI is after CPI(M)'s Pinarayi Vijayan. From Vijayan of Kerala to NCP's Praful Patel of Maharashtra, from SP's Mulayam Singh in UP to RJD's Lalu Prasad in Bihar...," he said.

While the SP announced its decision to field its State party chief Abu Azmi as a candidate against the Congress' sitting MP Priya Dutt from the Mumbai (north-west) constituency, Amar Singh made it known that his party would be initiating seat-sharing talks with the NCP, an alliance partner of the ruling Congress both at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

"Pawar has taken the initiative and invited us for a meeting in the Capital on Thursday to discuss the issue of having a pre-poll alliance with us for the Lok Sabha polls. We will attend it. The NCP has emerged as a strong political party in Maharashtra. An Alliance between the SP and the NCP is mutually beneficial. While we can seek their support in Maharashtra, the NCP can get our support in Uttar Pradesh," Singh said.

Singh, however, did not elaborate if parties other than the SP had also been invited by Pawar for the pre-poll alliance talks on Thursday. Pawar's initiative should be seen in the light of the fact that he had said a fortnight ago that he would soon hold talks with CPM general secretary Prakash Karat to explore the possibility of forming a secular front ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Given that Pawar has not taken kindly to the Congress' decision to go it alone in the Lok Sabha polls at the national level, even while having "State-specific" alliances with other political parties, including its UPA partners at the Centre, it remains to be seen if the NCP chief's latest initiative is either aimed at cobbling a non-Congress and non-BJP alliance - which is in effect floating a third front -- for the Lok Sabha polls or just keeping the SP leadership in good humour vis-à-vis the Congress.

In Delhi, speaking to reporters on Amar Singh's public outburst against the Congress, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said: "When personal issues override political issues, problems arise." Amar Singh had on Monday accused the Congress of using the CBI as a "sword" against his party chief, Mulayam Singh, during the current seat-sharing talks.

Speaking to The Pioneer, Digvijay Singh said: "As far as we are concerned, the alliance is still on. We want an alliance with the SP in Uttar Pradesh." Congress heir apparent Rahul Gandhi also said the talks were still on with the Samajwadi Party.

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