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‘Sharing dais was apolitical’

lucknow Updated: Apr 21, 2011 13:38 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi

A day after sharing dais with Lok Manch leader Amar Singh in Farrukhabad, Congress leaders appear to be treading cautiously, notwithstanding the warmth shown there.

Amar Singh had shared dais with All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Digvijay Singh and Union minister Salman Khurshid in the latter’s Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday. The trio had also shared a large garland, the pictures of which gave way to speculative reports related with change on the state’s political horizons a few months before the 2012 assembly elections.

Senior Congress leaders, however, are not willing to admit that the meeting that took place at a school function organised by a Kshatriya leader had any political overtones. Notwithstanding, the growing proximity of the Lok Manch leader with the Congress remained a point of discussion in the political circles here on Wednesday.

“It was a non-political function. It was personal. There is nothing beyond this point. No political overtones should be read in sharing of the dais,” said Digvijay Singh while speaking to Hindustan Times on telephone. About the possibilities of Amar Singh joining the Congress, Singh said a decision on the induction of MPs, former MPs, legislators and former legislators or merger of parties was taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi only.

Significantly, the tone and tenor of the Congress leaders appears to be a bit soft this time with one of them outrightly denying the possibilities of Singh merging his party with the Congress. AICC general secretary had called Amar Singh his brother, friend and a colleague. The Lok Manch leader also did not leave any opportunity in reciprocating the warmth saying he had learnt from the AICC leader the art of having good relations at personal level despite the political opposition.

While Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Rita Bahuguna Joshi refused to comment, a senior party leader, however, said the Lok Manch leader had not ruled out the possibilities of joining Congress. “His statements and stand on the 2G scam or the CD controversy speak a lot about his growing proximity with the party,” he said. Replying to a question in Farrukhabad on Tuesday, Amar Singh had said that whenever a decision on merger of his party with the Congress was taken, he would announce the same on a public platform.

Another Congress functionary said the party would have to choose between Amar Singh and the Samajwadi Party. “No alliance or political understanding with the Samajwadi Party would be possible if Amar Singh is inducted,” he said. The Congress would, however, have to think twice on the issue.

“Amar Singh has been raising the demand for creation of a separate Poorvanchal state. The Congress will not be able to accept any such pre-condition,” he said.