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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Congress, SP leaders spar in front of Sonia Gandhi

HT Correspondentq, Hindustan Times  Rae Bareily, March 25, 2013
First Published: 19:41 IST(25/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:40 IST(26/3/2013)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi defused a war of words between a party leader and a Samajwadi Party legislator in her Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, the third successive day that signs of unease in ties surfaced.

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She stepped in after state agriculture minister Manoj Pandey objected to Congress member of legislative council Dinesh Singh alleging bias in selection of "Lohia villages" for a housing scheme launched by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Singh also accused the chief minister of diverting central funds for the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Gram Vikas Yojana at a district-level vigilance and monitoring committee meet at the Rae Bareli collectorate.

Pandey immediately countered Singh and said, "No one should indulge in politics at this forum. We may not attend the meeting if political issues are raised here."

On a day-long visit to the constituency, Gandhi pacified Singh and ended a heated exchange with the SP leader.

The latest friction occurred a day after the CM told a television channel the SP was prepared to withdraw the outside support it extends to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.

On Saturday, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had accused the Congress of being weak and corrupt and also praised Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani.

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