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‘Cong chief is not backing Manmohan’

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 31, 2009
First Published: 00:16 IST(31/7/2009) | Last Updated: 00:18 IST(31/7/2009)

Continuing its attack on the government over the Indo-Pakistan joint statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh, the BJP claimed on Thursday that Sonia Gandhi’s address to the Congress Parliamentary Party showed that she too did not support Manmohan Singh’s line.


“Sonia Gandhi told Congress MPs today that till Pakistan does not act against terror, we cannot have any talks with it,” Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

This, she said, was a message to the MPs that the PM had gone back on the national consensus post-26/11 and a course correction was required. In this way, she distanced the party from one aspect of the joint statement: delinking of the composite dialogue from Pakistan’s action against terror.

On the other aspect — mention of Balochistan — she was totally silent, Swaraj said, suggesting that this showed Sonia did not agree with the PM on this point either.

“She praised the PM’s speech made yesterday but kept silent on the joint statement.”

She said the PM, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had given no direct reply to the main queries of the Opposition.

“Mukherjee said foreign policy was an extension of national interest but did not clarify what national interest was served by mentioning Balochistan,” she said.

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