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George keeps mum on Barak

THE USUALLY candid and articulate former defence minister George Fernandes shied away from the media hankering for his comment on the alleged Barak missile purchase scam on Thursday.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 01:44 IST

...to campaign for SP

THE USUALLY candid and articulate former defence minister George Fernandes shied away from the media hankering for his comment on the alleged Barak missile purchase scam on Thursday.

The NDA convener, who rarely misses out an opportunity to attack the Congress, made no direct mention of the party or its leaders in his 15-minute speech at the seminar on Dr Ram Manohar Lohia on the CSI lawns. Instead, he chose to wax eloquent on Mulayam’s achievements.  

The media-persons cornered the socialist leader when the function gave over. But all frantic attempts by the members of the fourth estate to get a quote or a byte from Fernandes failed. With a blank look on his face, he rolled up the car’s glass window and left. At the VVIP Guest House later, Fernandes, however, told the media that he would campaign for the ruling Samajwadi Party in the coming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, although he denied joining the party in near future. “What else I can do when my party Janata Dal (United) has an alliance with a party like Apna Dal— a party of dacoits —in UP. If my party allies with dacoits, what can I do...I will campign for SP,” he said..

Fernandes remained closeted for more than an hour with Yadav in the VVIP Guest House here. Defending Fernandes in the Barak Missile purchase scam, the CM said he was being framed. “I will certainly voice my opinion on the issue when the time comes,” Yadav quipped.