Date:28/03/2009 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2009/03/28/stories/2009032860951200.htm
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Corruption main poll issue: Mulayam

Atiq Khan

Charges Congress leaders with having scuttled the prospect of an alliance

— Photo: Subir Roy

Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh welcoming new members to his party in Lucknow on Friday.

LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh said on Friday Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and he himself will campaign jointly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections.

As part of the understanding, none of the parties will field its candidates in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Mr. Mulayam Singh, however, refused to withdraw the SP candidate from the Fatehpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh where the former Prime Minister, V.P. Singh’s son, Ajeya Singh, is contesting. Mr. Ajeya Singh joined the LJP after his father’s Jan Morcha merged with Mr. Paswan’s party and was declared the LJP candidate from Fatehpur. Following a pre-poll understanding between the three leaders, Mr. Ajeya Singh will not contest as an LJP candidate; he has expressed his desire to contest as an Independent.

Addressing a press conference here, the SP chief said that when the SP, the RJD and the LJP reached an understanding, the question of the LJP contesting from U.P. did not arise.

When pointed out that Mr. Ajeya Singh wished to contest as an Independent, Mr. Mulayam Singh said the SP would contest the seat as its candidate had already been declared. On the failure of the Congress and the SP to arrive at a seat sharing agreement, Mr. Mulayam Singh said he had offered 17 seats to the Congress, notwithstanding the fact that the SP was better placed in some of them. He accused the Congress leaders of scuttling the prospect of an alliance. He said both the parties would contest the polls separately, but for the Samajwadi Party the Congress was not an election issue; the issue would be the corruption of the Bahujan Samaj Party government in the State.

I respect women

PTI reports:

Under the Election Commission’s lens for making allegedly threatening a lady officer, Mr. Mulayam Singh on Friday said he always respected women and gave them due respect and place in the party. “I have never made any derogatory statement against anyone. I respect women. I have replied to the Commission on the issue,” Mr. Singh told reporters here.

He said the SP believed in giving a special place and respect to women, who irrespective of their caste were underprivileged.

Offering nomination to women journalists, Mr. Singh said he was ready to give tickets to them if they came forward. He said the controversy entire issue was a “gift” of the electronic media which aired such news.

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