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Allies never left the UPA: Congress

By Vicky Nanajappa & Firdaus Ashraf in New Delhi
May 16, 2009 18:54 IST
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Seeking to assure its allies that they were very much needed for the formation of the next government at the Centre, the Congress party on Saturday said they may have fought the elections separately, but they were all still one force.

Addressing a crowded press conference at the All India Congress Office on Akbar Road, New Delhi, Congress spokesperson and General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said none of the Congress allies ever said that they were not part of the United Progressive Alliance. All they said was that they were fighting elections separately.

On whether Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav would join the UPA, he said that this is for Mulayam to decide. Last time he supported us from outside, he said, adding, it is entirely up to him whether he would like to join the government or not.

The AICC will meet on Sunday and take a decision on the future course of action. Dwivedi said they would meet with the allies once they had reached New Delhi, on Saturday night.

When asked whether Rahul Gandhi would be part of the ministry, the AICC official said he was not in a position to answer that question. The party president and prime minister will decide that, he said.

The voters have chosen a national party, which is concerned both about urban and rural India, he said, concluding that the Congress had not won selected votes, but got votes from all sections of society.

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Vicky Nanajappa & Firdaus Ashraf in New Delhi