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When the PM felt let down by allies
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 22
Upset over their turnaround on the Indo-US nuclear agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is learnt to have conveyed his anguish to the UPA allies over their public rejection of the deal.

Although the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) denied these reports and rejected speculation that Manmohan Singh had offered to resign, UPA sources admitted that the PM did tell the allies that he felt let down when nobody spoke up for him on this issue.

A special meeting of UPA allies was convened at the PM’s residence this afternoon, ahead of the UPA-Left joint committee on the deal, where Singh told senior Congress leaders and allies said their stand on the nuke agreement had embarrassed him. He reminded the allies that they had endorsed the deal at a Cabinet meeting and subsequently at a UPA coordination committee meeting.

Wary of a mid-term election, key UPA allies like NCP chief Sharad Pawar, RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav and DMK minister T.R Baalu had told the last meeting of the joint committee that the government should not be sacrificed to save the nuke deal. This was followed by DMK chief M.Karunanidhi’s interview in which he said he had opposed the deal from the very start. This apparently further upset the Prime Minister who felt embarassed and isolated on the nuclear deal issue.

Talking to mediapersons on his way back from Africa, Singh had said all allies were “part and parcel” of the decision to press ahead with the deal.

Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan described all these reports as baseless and unfounded. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi dismissed reports about the PM’s offer of resignation as “baseless speculation”.

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