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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

Allies turn cold to Cong, demand clarifications

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 29, 2013
First Published: 00:22 IST(29/9/2013) | Last Updated: 00:33 IST(29/9/2013)

As the Congress found itself on the back-foot over party vice president Rahul Gandhi's remarks, UPA allies on Saturday distanced themselves from the Congress' fresh stand on the ordinance and asked the Congress to clarify.

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The Rashtriya Janata Dal responded to Congress leaders who suggested the ordinance was timed to save RJD president Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam case. A Ranchi court is slated to deliver its verdict in the case on September 30.

Former union minister and RJD's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told HT that the "crisis of confusion" in the Congress over the ordinance had nothing to do with the RJD.

Congress' Rajya Sabha MP Rasheed Masood was convicted in a corruption case this month. According to the Supreme Court verdict, he would stand disqualified from Parliament.

"It is absolutely wrong to presume that the ordinance was meant to help Prasad. The court's verdict against him is still pending, while Masood has already been convicted. Clearly, the government's aim in bringing the ordinance was to help Masood", Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said.

But in the same breath, he slammed the BJP and the JD (U) for their U-turn for "political gains in this election season".

Other UPA allies were not as charitable.

NCP leader Praful Patel termed Gandhi's "outburst" "unfortunate and embarrassing", J&K chief minister and NC leader Omar Abdullah demanded a meeting of the UPA coordination committee to "privately" discuss the issue "threadbare" and the Samajwadi Party asked the Prime Minister to cut short his US visit.

"The SP is opposed to the trend of criminalisation of politics, but we cannot allow political careers to be ruined by such judgments of the apex court," Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said.


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