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SP renews threat as party speaks in different voices

The Samajwadi Party continued to speak in different voices with Amar Singh renewing a threat to review support to the UPA if it does not take firm action against Pakistan by January 14.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2009 19:36 IST

The Samajwadi Party continued to speak in different voices with its leader Amar Singh on Sunday renewing a threat to review support to the UPA if it does not take firm action against Pakistan by January 14, a day after the party chief outrightly ruled out any move to sever ties with the ruling alliance.

"We still stand by our deadline of January 14 that SP has given to Congress leadership to decide on the kind of action it wants to take against Pakistan. Otherwise we would review our support to the UPA government," Singh told reporters here as the party persisted with its flip-flops on the issue which started on January 7.

The SP had threatened to consider withdrawing support to the UPA government for its "weak stand" against Pakistan on Wednesday but withdrew it hours later after a meeting between Amar Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. It issued a fresh ultimatum to the UPA government the next day but party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said in Mainpuri last evening that "there is no question of withdrawing support from the UPA."

"Though there has been no formal decision on withdrawal of support to the Congress-led UPA government, informally most of the SP leadership and workers are of the opinion that the party should part ways with Congress. This puts me in a minority within the party as I was authorised to hold discussions with Congress," Amar Singh said today. Singh claimed that it would be appropriate to first have a meeting of the coordination committee with Congress before announcing any formal decision on the issue.

Singh also announced SP's candidate from Baghpat Parliamentary seat in Uttar Pradesh, taking the total tally of its candidates to 47 out of the total 80 in the crucial state. Singh while criticising the Congress said that though certain leaders had termed his party as unreliable and launched personal attacks against him, "the SP has kept its doors open for Congress and we are yet to announce our candidates on seats being sought by Congress". Taking a dig at the Congress, he said if the grand old party has its way, then it would lay claim to all the LS seats in UP.

"It should talk of the present not the past, it should be practical. It should know that now SP is the stronger party in the state and Congress has lost its earlier stature there," he said.

Amar Singh also attacked Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh for questioning SP's move to field Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata in his place, in case the actor does not get clearance from court to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow.
Dutt is convicted under Arms Act and is currently out on bail.

"For us Sanjay Dutt is the first and only candidate who can contest from Lucknow, but in case he is not allowed to do so, then we would ask Manyata (his wife) to contest from there," the SP leader said.

Singh said that Digvijay Singh should not criticise anybody from the Dutt family, adding that even though the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister had left no stone unturned in maligning the SP leadership, "Mulayamji and myself will continue to support Congress".

Singh claimed that "the Congress has not taken action on any of our complaints about UP Governor T V Rajeswar's soft corner for the Mayawati-led led BSP government there". He added that SP had also brought to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's notice the alleged "misconduct of Mayawati and Rajeswar's close aide Pradeep Dubey".

"The Congress, however, has not listened to any of our complaints. But we will continue to support them," Singh said.

First Published: Jan 11, 2009 19:35 IST