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Trinamool's withdrawal from UPA BJP's wishful thinking: Cong

mumbai Updated: Nov 08, 2011 21:09 IST

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Even as Trinamool Congress MPs on Tuesday lodged a protest with the Prime Minister over petrol price hike and warned of reconsidering ties in the event of any other such rise, Congress dismissed as "wishful thinking" of BJP possible withdrawal of Mamata Banerjee's party from UPA.

"The speculation of Trinamool Congress quitting UPA is the wishful thinking of BJP," Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters, adding his party has understood Trinmool's concern.

"BJP has no power to attract allies. NDA has disintegrated and they only want to create instability in the incumbent government. NCP understands the exigencies of the government. Similarly, DMK has also realised the ground reality. Even Congress has asked for a healing touch," he said.

Singhvi said the Rs 19,000 crore package for West Bengal being sought by Trinamool Congress should not be linked to its stand on hike in petrol price.

"The package is under discussion for several years and discussions are on. You can't link the two," he said.

Singhvi, who is the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel which is examining the Lokpal Bill, said the panel has made "great progress" in the last five weeks and is currently in the process of internal discussions.

"There is no deadline for us. The last day of the winter session (of Parliament) is December 22," he said, adding nobody should hazard any guess about the draft Lokpal bill.

To a question on the controversies surrounding Team Anna, Singhvi said "they have done a good job to create awareness on the issue. It is upto them to set their house in order."

Singhvi termed as "speculative" media reports that AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi is all set to be elevated as the party's working president.

"He is playing an important role in the party and the country already and is not after any post," he said.

The Congress spokesman termed BJP leader L K Advani's criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the issues of corruption and black money as "hypocrisy of the worst kind".

"Advani should first answer why he had not spoken on the issue or taken any initiative during his tenure as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister between 1998 and 2004," he said.

Extending his best wishes to Advani on his birthday, Singhvi said in a lighter vein that "I wish him a hearty birthday but you can have a hearty birthday when you keep ambitions in check."