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Sonia stopped Pawar from being PM - The Asian Age

Palash Kumar ()
July 20, 1998

Title: Sonia stopped Pawar from being PM
Author: Palash Kumar
Publication: The Asian Age
Date: July 20, 1998

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said on Sunday that
Congress president Sonia Gandhi prevented Mr Sharad Pawar from
ousting the BJP-led coalition and forming an alternative

Speaking to The Asian Age here, Mr Singh said: "Mr Pawar was in
favour of forming the government but his support was taken as his
personal ambition to become Prime Minister. Mrs Sonia Gandhi did
not want this."

he Congress is a president-oriented party. Anyone with little
political experience can be made Congress president over
experienced and mass-based people like Mr Sitaram Kesri, Mr Pawar
and Mr Rajesh Pilot," Mr Singh added.

Asked if he foresees a split in the Congress with a section led
by Mr Pawar deciding to oust the BJP government, Mr Singh's
cryptic reply was: "Mr Pawar has no guts." He said Mrs Sonia
Gandhi's refusal to help oust this government was part of her
personal agenda. "It suits both Mrs Gandhi as much as it suits Mr
Atal Behari Vajpayee that the government stays. I don't know what
her reason are. I think she wants the BJP government to stay in
order to secure her own position, Mr Singh said.

In a frontal attack on the Congress and Mrs Sonia Gandhi in
particular, Mr Singh said that the party is "scared" to pull down
a government again.

"It is scared of its past mistakes. It is adopting double
standards. They pulled down the government on the issue of Rajiv
Gandhi's assassination. Why can't they pull down this government
now? This Is nothing but double standards, he said. Terming the
Congress decision as a "betrayal particularly of the minorities
and the weaker sections, Mr Singh added: "But this is not the
first time they have betrayed the people. They did it when the
Babri Masjid was demolished, they did it in the Meerut riots. But
don't worry, like for all their past historical blunders. they
will again apologise."

While stating that there Is still an occasion for the government
to go if the Congress wants to, Mr Singh, however, made it clear
that the newly-formed Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha led by Mr
Mulayam Singh Yaday and Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav "will not wait for
the Congress."

"We are not frustrated or in a desperate hurry. But we will not
wait for the Congress now. Ms Jayalalitha and the CPI(M) are
thinking on our lines. Let the Congress remain in slumber, we
will continue to right." he said. The Loktantrik Morcha is
holding its first public rally in Patna on July 29 to be followed
by another meeting in Lucknow on August 5. The rallies will be
jointly addressed by Mr Mulayam Singh and Mr Laloo Yadav. The
Loktantrik Morcha is also trying to rope in Left party leaders to
address these rallies.

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