Congress to discuss new allies with pre-poll partners (Lead)May 17th, 2009 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Even as the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Samajwadi Party made overtures to the Congress, the party made it clear Sunday it would first consult its pre-poll allies on government formation before considering new partners.
However, the party was open to accepting external support of “all secular parties, except those with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) or Shiv Sena,” Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters.
“No discussion took place (in the meeting) about anybody - this was not on the agenda,” he said, when asked about the possibility of including the RJD and the SP in the government.
He was speaking after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also present.
Earlier in the day, RJD chief Lalu Prasad told reporters on his arrival here: “Whether I am part of the government or not is another thing. We will always support the UPA.”
SP general secretary Amar Singh said: “We are for constructive support. It is up to the Congress how much support they want from us and in which form.”
Asked about this, the Congress spokesperson said: “We will first sit and discuss (government formation) with our pre-poll alliance partners after a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (on Tuesday) about government formation.”
He said evolving a common minimum programme would also be discussed with the party’s allies.
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