New Delhi: Apparently seeking to
strengthen its position in Western parts of poll-bound Uttar
Pradesh, Congress has begun alliance talks with Ajit Singh`s
Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Talks for a tie-up with RLD are on, Party General
Secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters here.
The remark assumes significance as it comes close on
the heels of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav spurning an
alliance with the RLD and asking Ajit instead to merge his
party with the Samajwadi party. Ajit was quick to rebuff
Mulayam, dubbing him as "anti-farmer."
Digvijay, who is in charge of the party`s affairs in
Uttar Pradesh, had said sometime back that party leader Rahul
Gandhi has been authorised to finalise the tie-ups.
Congress has already declared that it would go for
tie-ups with smaller parties and would have no truck with the
ruling BSP, SP as also the BJP. In the last Lok Sabha
elections, Congress had won 22 of the 80 seats in the state.
Gandhi has been leading the campaign in Uttar Pradesh
to mobilise farmers on the issue of land acquisition and had
only recently held a "Mahapanchayat" of peasants over the
matter in Aligarh.
Reports had it that the growing warmth between the two
parties is largely due to friendship between Gandhi and RLD MP
from Mathura Jayant Chaudhury, who is son of Ajit Singh.
The Congress has been desperately trying to widen its
base in Western UP which has 125 Assembly seats spread over 22
districts. There is a feeling in the Congress that a poll pact
with RLD might help in getting Jat support in the region.