M A I N   N E W S

Sonia humiliated me, says Amar Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has launched a scathing attack on the Congress and its President Sonia Gandhi, charging her of cold-shouldering him and said he “felt-ashamed” that he went to the dinner hosted by the Congress President ahead of the formation of the UPA government.

In an interview to BBC World’s Hardtalk India said he and his colleagues were being “discarded, rejected and very shabbily treated” by the Congress.

He claimed that he was made to feel “unwanted” at a dinner hosted by Mrs Gandhi shortly after the elections and said the Congress President only acknowledged him with a “cold nod”.

“I am very ashamed I went there. I should not have gone there. I was not invited (but) Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet had said ‘the venue was Ms Sonia Gandhi’s home and all the forces who were responsible for the day, for the installation of a non-BJP government, were assembling there. “I will go in your car. I will sit with you’”, Mr Amar Singh recalled the CPM leader as saying.

The Samajwadi Party leader said his party was having a “troubled relationship” with the Congress and his “public humiliation” would cost the Congress “dearly”. He also said trouble was “emanating from the top” in the Congress.

“....What was done to me, the public humiliation (at Sonia’s party) and then the bravado expressed by the Congress, it will cost them dearly because all constituents of the Congress and ours are of the same pattern,” he said.

“I would be lying if I say there is no trouble. Definitely there is a troubled relationship. I think I have got many friends in the government. They do not want to openly admit but they are very helpful and they keep the relationship clandestine because they don’t want to invite the wrath of the high command. So I think it is emanating from the top, from the Congress from the entire government”, he said.

He added that in the Congress “everything emanated from the top. So I would not like to name the person because I am a gentleman and I have given my word.. but the problem comes from the top definitely”.

Asked whether the Congress was taking his party for granted or simply did not care about it, he replied “both”.

He said the Congress leaders present at Mrs Gandhi’s dinner gave him “looks that can kill” and CPI leader A.B. Bardhan was the only leader who supported the inclusion of the Samajwadi Party on the list of allies of the “secular alliance.”

“First of all ... we were made to sit outside. And Mr Ahmed Patel received us. He went in, and after five minutes came out and said, ‘please come in’. Each one sitting in the room, particularly from the Congress side, except Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, gave me very, cold looks. If looks can kill, I was almost killed.

“And then Mr Jairam Ramesh, my dear friend, started reading names of allies but did not read out our party’s name, or he did not read out my name. At this, I said, ‘what for I am here? It seems as if I am unwanted. I am also here to lend support.”

The Samajwadi Party leader said the Congress had “appointed” Mr K. Natwar Singh and Mr Ahmed Patel to “keep him in good humour” before the Lok Sabha elections.

“However, after the results were announced, they (Congress) thought, it (SP) was irrelevant” even though the party had 40 seats in the present Lok Sabha,” the BBC released quoted him as saying.

“Had there not been debacle of the BJP by our effort — we defeated Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, Mr Vinay Katiyar and Swami Chinmayananda — then the two historical events would not have taken place. Ms Sonia Gandhi would not have got the opportunity to shun power and attain sainthood, which she claims to acquire now, and Mr Manmohan Singh would not have become the Prime Minister,” he said.

On whether the party would continue to provide support to the UPA government he said “It is a game of patience and tolerance, and there is no need to act in haste.”

“The Congress does not believe in the culture of consultation. They believe in the culture of giving information. Like a feudal lord, Home Minister Shivraj Patil picked up the phone and informed Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav “we have decided to send Mr T.V. Rajeshwar as Governor.”

“I will not say he was imposed, because he is already there, but it is for you to imply whatever you want to,” he added.


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