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Congress to play role of opposition in UP

delhi Updated: May 11, 2007 18:31 IST

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With BSP no longer requiring its support, Congress on Friday said that it will play the role of opposition in Uttar Pradesh.

"We are conscious that the mandate of the people of Uttar Pradesh is for us to sit in the opposition. We shall discharge our duties best to our ability," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters as the results indicated that the Mayawati-led party was headed for a simple majority on its own in the 403-member House.

Asked whether the Congress would provide outside support, he said that the question of extending such support was now an academic exercise.

"There is no question of unilaterally extending support. It is entirely hypothetical," he said.

As the outcome indicated that Congress is expected to get lesser seats than it held in the previous house, Singhvi said that the election results were "disappointing" for the party.

Replying to a volley of questions including whether party chief Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka shared the blame for the poor show, Singhvi said that they led from the front and Rahul had already declared that he was in UP for a long haul.

Besides, he said, there were "long-term structural reasons" responsible for the verdict. "We will go into these results very carefully and will emerge bigger and stronger".

Noting that Congress was aware of its strength and weaknesses, Singhvi said Congress will have to reinvent and reassimilate for forming a rainbow coalition in the state.

Asked whether the Congress-led coalition would "help" Mayawati in her court cases including the Taj Corridor case pending in the Supreme Court, he said the case was being directed by the apex court and there was 'no question of Congress doing this or that'.

To a query whether Sonia Gandhi has complimented the BSP chief, he said he was not aware but the Congress welcomes the verdict of the people of UP in which they have rejected "communal" party like BJP.