The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Spurned Samajwadi shuns Cong

New Delhi, Nov. 19: In what could come as music to the ears of the BJP and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, the Samajwadi Party today formally divorced the Congress.

There will be no cooperation with the Congress on any issue either in or outside Parliament, general secretary Amar Singh announced, promising to avenge the Uttar Pradesh “betrayal”.

The Samajwadi, which does not have any base in Gujarat, will field as many as 120 candidates to cut into the Congress votebank. It will also run a high-voltage campaign to educate minorities that the Congress is propping up the Bahujan Samaj Party-BJP regime in Lucknow.

“We will tell Gujarati Muslims that there is very little difference between the BJP and the Congress,” Singh said.

Samajwadi sources said the party would not sit idle but would work towards splitting the 25-member Congress legislature party in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi is convinced that the Congress will not do anything to topple Mayavati as it does not want to alienate the Dalits.

“We will maintain equi-distance from both Congress and BJP,” Singh said. Charging the Congress with practising politics of “personal animosity, hatred and contempt”, he alleged that there had been a “secret understanding” between the top leadership of the Congress and the BJP when the Uttar Pradesh coalition was set up.

The last straw was that the Congress did not support the Opposition candidate in the Uttar Pradesh legislative council election yesterday. The Congress, which did not contest, abstained, making for an artificial majority for the BSP-BJP candidate.

“Our top leaders including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ramgopal Yadav, Janeshwar Mishra, Azam Khan will camp in Gujarat for 15 days,” he said.

The Congress, he declared, was pseudo secular and helping the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. But In his full-throated attack, he spared Sonia Gandhi. “I have stopped personal attacks. I have no quarrel with Sonia. We don’t believe in personal animosity against individuals.”

He said Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri should convene a special session of the Assembly to test the Mayavati government’s majority. The Samajwadi-sponsored Opposition candidate had polled 183 votes and with 25 Congress members, the Opposition numbers would have gone up to 208. It meant the BJP-BSP coalition government was six short of the simple majority of 202 in a House of 403, he said.

“It is like Kumbhakarna waking up from his deep slumber,” he said, referring to Congress CLP leader Pramod Tiwari’s demand today for a special session. Asked if the Samajwadi would back a Congress Prime Minister, Singh said: “Where is the situation' Let the situation arise, then our high command will sit and decide.”

In a joint statement, Singh and general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said the party had always felt that the “wrong” policies of the Congress since Independence had helped in the rise of the BJP.

The “Congress still has a heavy majority of people having communal mentality”.

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