Paswan extends support to Sonia for Prime Ministership

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi
May 15, 2004 05:45 PM IST

LJP leader Paswan has extended his party's support to Sonia for prime ministership saying all secular parties should join the new Govt.

Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and extended his party's support to her for prime ministership saying all like-minded secular parties should also join the new government.

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"I met her (Sonia) and congratulated her for the massive mandate given by people who have reposed faith in her leadership," he told reporters outside Gandhi's residence.

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Asserting that LJP will be part of the next government, Paswan asked Left and other like-minded parties to join the coalition and make it more representative and stable.

"I have already talked to VP Singh on the secular parties joining the new government. I would also meet CPM leader Harkishen Singh Surjeet and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda and ask them to particiapte," he said.

To a question whether issue of portfolios was discussed during the meeting, he said "getting a berth in government is not an issue, what is important is empowering the poor".

Asked about his views on disinvestment and economic reforms process started by BJP, the former Union Minister said he was not against it but he opposed policies that created unemployment and sale of national assets, besides rising corruption in government.

Advocating formation of a dalit regiment, Paswan said the poor should be able to feel a sense of participation in the government.

On creation of smaller states, he said though his party favoured it, in view of difference among parties he would like to evolve a consensus on the matter. 

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