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SP-Cong alliance to see “unfriendly contest” in dozen UP seats

Thursday, Feb 9, 2017,14:15 IST By anju A A A

Lucknow | The catchy one liner “UP ko ye saath pasand hai” dotting the Uttar Pradesh skyline does not seem to be reflected on the ground as fledgling alliance partners SP and Congress are crossing swords in over a dozen Assembly seats.

“Yes, there are some seats on which candidates of both the parties are challenging each other. The issue will be resolved,” SP Chief Spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury told PTI when asked to comment on the issue.

Even UP Congress chief Raj Babbar said the matter would be sorted out in a couple of days.

“Leaders of both parties will campaign in support of candidates declared by the alliance on the seats where nominees of both sides have filed their papers,” he said.

But, political observers say that with only a day left for the polling for the first phase on February 11 the damage seems to have been done already with candidates of both parties already on the ground.

“The alliance is set to witness some unfriendly contest in these seats,” they said.

The situation is worse in the Gandhi family pocket borough — Amethi and Raebareli — represented by Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha.

There are 10 assembly seats in Amethi and Raebareli.

In Raebareli’s Sareni seat Ashok Singh (Congress) and Devendra Pratap Singh (SP) are challenging each other.

Likewise, in Unchahar Ajay Pal Singh (Congress) is facing cabinet minister Manoj Kumar Pandey (SP).

In Amethi, sitting MLA and Mulayam SIngh Yadav loyalist Gayatri Prasad Prajapati is in the fray on SP ticket, while Congress has decided to field Amita Singh there.

In Gauriganj seat too, confusion prevails with Congress candidate Mohd Naeem challenging Rakesh Pratap Singh (SP).

The UP PCC chief, however, made light of the issue saying, SP candidates had filed their nomination papers when it appeared that the alliance will not come through.

“At some places they wanted to withdraw, they could not do so due to uncertainty,” he said.