Sonia missing in SP support letter | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Sonia missing in SP support letter

PTI | ByDeepak Razdan, New Delhi
May 18, 2004 02:10 AM IST

SP-RLD combine, having 39 MPs, met President Kalam and handed over the letter of support for Cong-led alliance to form next Govt.

The samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine on Monday met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and handed over to him letters of support for a Congress-led government with no specific reference to Sonia Gandhi as prime minister.

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The SP's decision to approach the President directly is a bit odd because all other secular parties, including the Left, have given identical support letters to the Congress president, slated to meet Kalam on Tuesday.

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The agreed wordings of the letter were not provided to the SP's Amar Singh and the RLD's Ajit Singh at a meeting they attended at 10, Janpath (without a formal invite from Sonia) at the bidding of the CPI-M's Harkishen Singh Surjeet.

In fact, the name of Surjeet — a strong advocate of the SP's participation in the government — is mentioned thrice in Amar Singh's letter stating that Mulayam Singh Yadav's party has decided to extend support to a Congress-led regime purely in solidarity with the CPI-M general secretary.

"On the direction of Mulayam Singh, the Central Parliamentary Board of the SP has, in line with Surjeet's position, decided in favour of the Congress," the letter signed by Amar Singh said. Enclosed with it was a list of 36 MPs the SP has in the 14th Lok Sabha.

"We have lessened the burden of Sonia Gandhi by submitting directly to the President the letter of support," Amar Singh and Ajit Singh told reporters in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan. On the question of sharing power with the Congress, they chose to be more ambivalent that forthcoming.

"We have no lust for power. We will decide on it in consultation with Surjeet," argued Amar Singh.

At one stage, he even remarked that while supporting the Congress government, his party would reserve its right to be critical in areas of disagreement.

However, Surjeet had stated at the outset that the SP would be part of the government. It remains to be seen whether that position holds in the wake of the Left's own decision to extend outside support to the Congress.

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