The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Secular duo dumps BJP in Gujarat

New Delhi, Nov. 6 (PTI): Two NDA allies, the Samata Party and the Janata Dal (United), said today they would go it alone in the Gujarat Assembly elections.

While the Samata will field 50 candidates, the Dal (United) will test its popularity in 20 to 25 seats. The two, counted among the secular allies of the BJP, had been trying to insulate themselves from the fallout of the riots in Gujarat.

“We will have no alliance with the BJP in Gujarat. There will be no common manifesto or programme,” Samata spokesman Shambu Shrivastwa said.

He said Samata leader George Fernandes had conveyed a seat-adjustment proposal to BJP president Venkaiah Naidu who sought a week to respond. “But more than a week has since passed and there is no communication from the other side,” Shrivastwa said.

Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav said his party had contested the last Assembly elections in Gujarat on its own and four of its candidates won. “This time we hope to do better,” he said.

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