No bad blood between PM and Sonia: Cong | india | Hindustan Times
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No bad blood between PM and Sonia: Cong

Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said that the letter from Sonia to Manmohan was only to convey a point of view.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 21:17 IST
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The Congress has said that there was no bad blood between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The move can be seen as an attempt to play down the letter from the party chief to Manmohan counselling him to "very carefully scrutinise" Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with ASEAN to safeguard interests of domestic farmers.

"The letter conveyed a point of view from the Congress president on the basis of representations received, which she is entirely entitled to, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.

Downplaying the development, Singhvi, who was grilled by reporters on the issue, dismissed suggestions that the communication meant that the two leaders, who meet at least once a week as part of consultations among top Congress leaders, were not on the best of terms.

He said that there were also discussions between Gandhi and the Prime Minister on the issue and that the communication did not mean that the government was deviating from the line taken by the party.

"You are reading too much between the lines. You are building all verbal castles", he said in reply to a number of questions including that the letter showed a dual power structure and that the timing of its release ahead of the Rae Bareli bye elections was to drive home the point as to who called the shots in the UPA.

In a letter to Singh, the Congress chief had said that she was concerned over the FTAs being signed by the Government as the country's domestic agriculture sector was in distress, particularly in areas like edible oil, coffee, tea and pepper.