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 Samajwadi Party 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,” Samajwadi Party Chief Spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury told PTI when asked to comment on the issue.
Even Uttar Pradesh 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 said with only a day left for the first phase polling 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,” said a political expert.
The situation is worse in the Gandhi family pocket borough – Amethi and Raebareli – represented by Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha.
There are 10 assembly seats in Amethi and Raebareli. In Raebareli’s Sareni seat, Ashok Singh (Congress) and Devendra Pratap Singh (Samajwadi Party) are challenging each other.
Likewise, in Unchahar Ajay Pal Singh (Congress) is facing cabinet minister Manoj Kumar Pandey (Samajwadi Party).
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 (Samajwadi Party).
The UP Pradesh Congress Committee chief, however, made light of the issue saying, Samajwadi Party 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.