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Consensus in Congress over Indo-Pak statement

india Updated: Jul 28, 2009 00:33 IST
Saroj Nagi

For the first time on Monday the Congress indicated an emerging common ground between the party and the UPA government on the joint statement that had created a furore in the Opposition and unease in its ranks.

“The party is confident that when the prime minister speaks in Parliament on July 29, he will set at rest all questions, all apprehensions and speculations relating to the Indo-Pak joint statement at Sharm-el-Shaikh,’’ said Janardan Dwivedi.

Though the comment stops short of a full endorsement of the joint statement, it leaves enough scope for the party to rally round the PM, who will “explain’’ for the second time in Parliament the contours of the document on July 29.

On Wednesday, Singh will intervene in a debate in the Lok Sabha and provide the government and the party with the argument that the joint statement has to be read in conjunction with his July 17 speech in Parliament after returning from Sharm-el-Shaikh.

A day after Singh’s intervention, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s address to party MPs at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting on July 30 is likely to spell out the party’s “line” on the issue. Meanwhile, Congress MPs, participating in the debate, would be briefed on the talking points.

Dwivedi’s carefully worded comment comes on the eve of the BJP’s move to hand a memorandum to the President and two days after Singh and Gandhi discussed the issue at the Congress core group.

The joint statement has been criticised for de-linking action against terror from the composite dialogue and introducing Balochistan into the text.