No reaction from PM, goes about business as usual

July 8th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Sapporo (Japan), July 8 (IANS) There was no immediate reaction from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the news Tuesday afternoon that the Left had withdrawn support to his coalition government and reduced it to a minority. The prime minister, his aides said, was busy in meetings with heads of state and government attending the Japan summit of the world’s richest as well as key emerging and developing nations from all continents.

The prime minister met leaders of China, Mexico and South Korea and was busy in a summit of the five Outreach nations (India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico) when the news from New Delhi came.

Moreover, all the aides here were those from the non-political establishment. These included National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran.

Even Sanjaya Baru, the prime minister’s media adviser, had not come on this trip, leaving the prime minister’s media relations to a junior official.

The only political person on the trip was Shahid Siddiqui, Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP and general secretary, but he was here in his media avatar - as editor of his Urdu paper Nai Duniya.

Siddiqui quipped: “The fact that I am here at this time shows the government is safe… and there is no crisis.”

The Samajwadi Party has pledged support to the government over the nuclear deal, and Manmohan Singh told accompanying newspersons on his flight to Sapporo that he was not afraid of facing parliament.

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