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We are not surviving on Congress' support: Amar Singh

By Javed M. Ansari

NEW DELHI, DEC. 26. Buoyed by its victory in the by-elections to the Mainpuri and Akbarpur Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party today challenged the Congress to withdraw support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government. ``We are not surviving on the support of the Congress. They can withdraw support whenever they want,'' the Samajwadi Party general secretary, Amar Singh, told reporters here.

``Despite all their tall claims, the elections have once again proved that in Uttar Pradesh the Congress is, at best, an also ran,'' he said. ``It was the Samajwadi Party which reduced the Bharatiya Janata Party to 10 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections and once again we defeated them in the by-elections. The Congress could not even save its deposit now.''

The Samajwadi Party was determined to make its presence felt in the Bihar Assembly elections, Mr. Singh said, but ruled out an alliance with any of the National Democratic Alliance parties. ``We plan to contest the Bihar elections on our own and prove our strength.''

Ties with BJP

Dismissing speculations that his party and the BJP were coming closer, Mr. Singh said the Samajwadi Party had been accused of this even earlier and it was unfounded and politically motivated. ``Our opponents will never tire of accusing us. They tried and failed during the last Lok Sabha polls also.''

On the third front, Mr. Singh said that despite the lukewarm response of the Left parties he had not given up hope. ``They have not ruled it out. It will be formed at the right time.''

Mr. Singh accused the Congress leadership of targeting his party leaders and tapping their phones. ``They have gone to the extent of stalling the admission of our children and spying on us,'' Mr. Singh alleged.

Mr. Singh, a friend of the embattled Reliance Energy Chairman, Anil Ambani, sought to dispel the impression that the tussle between the Ambani brothers would adversely impact the Dadri power project. " The land acquisition and all the other related works are going on; the project is on course. One must not forget that Mr Anil Ambani continues to be the Chairman of REL," he said.

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