Samajwadi Party’s Shahid Siddiqui in PM’s media delegation to Japan

July 7th, 2008 - 11:14 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Guess who is the VIP in the media delegation accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Japan? Samajwadi Party general secretary Shahid Siddiqui, who is in the delegation not as an MP but as the editor of the Urdu paper Nai Dunya. Siddiqui told IANS: “I have been with all previous prime ministers on their foreign trips as an accompanying journalist, except Manmohan Singh. So I thought of going on this one.”

However, Siddiqui said, he thought of dropping out in view of the political crisis, but was told by his party that he should keep his journalistic commitment.

In fact, seniormost party general secretary Amar Singh was insistent that he go, Siddiqui said.

Asked if he would discuss politics on the flight with the prime minister, in view of his party extending life-saving support to the ruling coalition, Siddiqui said: “I will try and build ‘bridges in the air’.”

Siddiqui is one of the party spokespersons and is a popular figure in political discussions on TV news channels.

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