January 14, 2009 2:24:50 am
With the recent public sniping between Samajwadi Party (SP) general secretary Amar Singh and senior Congress leaders,particularly Digvijay Singh and Satyavrat Chatu-rvedi,reaching fever pitch,SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav hit out at the Congress in a statement on Tuesday. He was responding to media reports that quoted Congress sources as saying that the Samajwadi Party,was using its political coordination with the ruling party at the Centre to further personal interests. Later in the day,however,Mulayam and Amar Singh met the Prime Minister after issuing a statement earlier urging him and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to intervene to maintain cordial relations between the two parties.
In his press statement earlier in the afternoon,Mulayam said,Some reports in the media,attributing Congress sources have said that they (Congress) cannot give me a reprieve in some corruption case¿ I have strong evidence of my innocence and if I went public with it,many of my friends in Congress would come under scrutiny¿ I want to remind them that I have been in jail for 19 months during the Emergency and did not bow down before Indiraji like several tall Opposition leaders.
Saying he was personally hurt that Congress sources had alleged to the media that the SP used the political coordination to further the interests of corporate houses,allotment of personal residences,land for the partys national office and getting a reprieve from corruption cases, he attempted to refute some charges.
Officials from the Urban Development Ministry came to me and Amar Singh and gave us details of land for SPs national office before the trust vote. However,these officials vanished after the UPA won the trust vote with the SPs support. Our demand for the allocation for gas to the Dadri Power Project and Power Industry in UP was made to the Government and not to Mukesh Ambani, Mulayam said. He did,however,take a dig at AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh,Digvijay Singh,for his links with a family connected to Ambanis company. Digvijay Singh has staked claim for the candidature of the wife of Sandeep Tandon,who is a senior executive of Mukesh Ambani, said the statement.
Later,however,the SP leaders met the Prime Minister in a bid to patch up the fraying ties between the two parties and to present their grievances about formal and informal media leaks.
We presented our grievances to the Prime Minister. There was no particular reaction from him, a tight-lipped Mulayam said after the meeting. Amar Singh added,We would expel anybody from our party if they criticise Sonia Gandhi,but there are few senior leaders in the Congress who are levelling trivial charges against me through formal and informal briefings to the media. It is up to the Congress president to see to it whether they continue doing so.
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