Amar Singh urges Congress to hurry seat sharing talks


New Delhi : Apparently worried by the moves to form a strong third front with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati in the forefront, the Samajwadi Party Monday said talks with the Congress on seat sharing in Uttar Pradesh for the next general elections were “lagging behind” and bogged down by “unnecessary delays”.

Support TwoCircles

“There has been unnecessary delay (about alliance in Uttar Pradesh),” Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh told reporters here.

The Samajwadi Party, which backed the Manmohan Singh government in the July 22 parliament floor test after the Left withdrew support over the India-US nuclear deal, had earlier suggested that the Congress appoint Rahul Gandhi for discussions on seat sharing.

“Other alliances are working very hard and we are lagging behind. We have to come to a decision this way or that,” said Singh, apparently referring to the growing clout of Mayawati with the other parties.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat met BSP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for talks on Sunday, while Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief K. Chandrababu Naidu had met her the day before.

Mayawati has declared that her party would contest general elections from all the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh.

“So far, there have been no formal talks (on seat sharing). Hopefully, we will meet soon. I don’t know how and when, but we will take a call tomorrow,” said Singh, Rajya Sabha MP.

He said he had discussed seat sharing with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and also Ahmed Patel, her political advisor.

After his meeting with the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi on Aug 22, Amar Singh had announced the formation of a six-member Congress-Samajwadi Party coordination committee, which would include the prime minister, Sonia Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party would be members of the committee.