Samajwadi Party says Congress ignoring it, to decide on continuing support

January 8th, 2009 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiNew Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The Samajwadi Party Thursday alleged it was being sidelined by alliance partner the Congress on the issues of terrorism and dealing with Pakistan and said it would discuss its support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Jan 14 at a parliamentary board meeting.Voicing the party’s unhappiness, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh here said: “We are part of the coalition at the centre, but nothing is discussed with us regarding the fight against terror or the steps being taken to deal with Pakistan. We come to know about the whole affair through the media. Yesterday I met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and Ahmad Patel (political advisor to Sonia Gandhi). We will wait till Jan 14 for the outcome of our meeting and then decide on continuation of our support to the government.”

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the parliamentary board of the party, Singh said he is under immense pressure from party legislators and MPs and is being blamed for the “Congressisation” of the party.

“Today, I am being blamed by members of my party for extending support to the UPA government on July 22, which they see as Congressisation of the party and for the party being neglected by the Congress in dealing with Pakistan on the issue of terror,” Singh said.

Support from the Samajwadi Party played a major role in bailing out the UPA government during the July 22 trust vote in parliament over the India-US civil nuclear deal.

On Pakistan, Singh said: “Why can’t the US allow India to take steps against Pakistan to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism there the way it has justified Israel’s bombing of Gaza in the name of self-defence.”

On the Israel issue, Singh said his party would invite the ambassadors of Arab countries very soon to criticize the bombings and create international pressure on Israel.

“We will invite the ambassadors of Arab countries to discuss and criticize the killing of innocent people in Gaza by Israel. We would try to create international pressure on Israel so that this could stop,” he said.

Singh also criticized the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh for the “collapse of law and order in the state” and declared that a shutdown would be observed Jan 9 in NOIDA, on the outskirts of the capital, to protest the gangrape of a girl there Tuesday.

He blamed Congress general secretary Prithviraj Chavan for “trying to create a rift” in the Samajwadi Party in Karnataka by wooing away party leader S. Bangarappa.

Singh, who was flanked by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior party leader Janeshwar Mishra, announced the names of 27 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

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