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SP-Congress: Marriage of convenience

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav may critique the state Congress when he takes the stage today to address a rally, but his own party wants to tie up with the Congress to defeat the alliance of Shiv Sena, BJP and Republican Party of India at the BMC polls in February 2012, say sources within the outfit.

The SP, which currently holds 7 corporator posts in the BMC, is gunning for 45 out of a total of 227 BMC corporators.

Party leaders feel that an alliance with the Congress- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) can help the SP, which is currently a small player in the state. "We want seats from the north Indian belt of Goregaon and a few strongholds like Shivaji Nagar, Sewree, Govandi and others," said a party source.

Abu Asim Azmi, president of the party's state unit admitted to the same, saying, "We want to join the Congress alliance because this will help up the tally of secular votes, which would otherwise have been divided amongst two parties."

Nizammudin Rayeen, spokesperson for the Mumbai Congress said, "Discussions are on to form the alliance." Rayeen remained non-committal on how seats would be shared, however. "Seat sharing can be discussed later, on the basis of merit and ground realities."

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