NCP accuses Congress of not observing the 'coalition dharma'

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New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has mounted an attack on its coalition partner Congress accusing UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi of not observing the 'coalition dharma' at the Centre.

Mr D P Tripathi, general secretary of NCP, a ruling coalition partner of Congress at the Centre and five states, today accused the latter of adopting ''big brotherly attitude'' towards it.

''The Congress attempted to undercut the NCP wherever it could,'' he said, adding the Congress had poached seven out of 13 NCP MLAs in Maghalya and one in Nagaland which a coalition partner should not have done.

However, Mr Tripathi said, the UPA government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was fair enough in working as per the coalition requirements as there was no interference in the working of ministers by the PMO and all official decisions were taken collectively by the Cabinet, he said.

Referring to the Congress's charges that NCP president Sharad Pawar was responsible for price rise being the Minister for Agriculture and Food, he said Mr Pawar had done a lot for agriculture and farmers who had been ignored by the earlier governments.

''Mr Pawar is not the Finance Minister of the country who could be sqaurely blamed for price rise and inflation,'' Mr Tripathi maintained.

He condemned the attack of RSS activists on the office of CPI(M) at Pune and hailed the Left parties for reiterating their committment to secularism at their respective congresses.

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