Manmohan meets Sonia for last-minute discussion

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi
May 22, 2004 02:33 PM IST

Hitches in Govt formation continued as PM-designate rushed to Cong chief's house for consultations hours before the swearing-in.

Hitches in the formation of a Congress-led coalition Government apparently continued till the eleventh hour as Prime Minister-designate Manmohan Singh rushed to the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi for consultations hours before swearing-in ceremony.

HT Image
HT Image

Manmohan, who would be sworn-in at 5.30 pm, drove to 10, Janpath residence of Gandhi minutes after Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan, met her.

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Paswan, understood to have been denied the Railways portfolio, is reportedly sulking over the issue.

Manmohan's consultations were also preceded by a meeting between former prime minister VP Singh and Gandhi at her residence.

VP Singh, who played a major role in bringing together the regional and Left parties to fight BJP and its allies in the Lok Sabha elections, met Gandhi for the third time after the results were declared.

It is believed that the former prime minister is trying to bring about a compromise with Paswan having been cut up reportedly due to denial of the Railways.

The Prime Minister-designate, faced with a gigantic task of ministerial allocation, had on Friday spent over 11 hours in marathon meetings spread over two sessions with Gandhi.

This is the first time that Congress is sharing power at the Centre with allies and, therefore, the exercise is having its twists and turns with pulls and pressures from within the party and the partners.

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