Amar Singh, other SP MPs among invitees at UPA dinner

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New Delhi, May 20 (UNI) Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, who had been given a cold reception as an uninvited guest by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a dinner on the first anniversary of the Alliance rule four years back, is this time an honoured invitee to a similar dinner, which is being seen an indication of the two parties coming closer.

The occasion is the celebration of the UPA government completing four years in office. The dinner will be held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence at 7 Race Course Road.

In the 2004 dinner, held at Ms Gandhi's residence 10, Janpath, Mr Amar Singh had come along with veteran CPI leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet after the latter persuaded him to accompany him.

Sources close to the SP leader said the invitation has been received for the May 22 dinner, but the response to it was yet to be decided. They, however, indicated that Mr Singh, who was abroad at present, would return in time to attend the dinner.

Besides Mr Singh, other party MPs have also been invited. This was confirmed by chief whip of the party in Lok Sabha Mohan Singh.

When asked whether party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had also been invited, he said he did not know about it.

However, Mr Yadav will be in capital on May 22 in connection with a UNPA meeting.

Among the invitees are also MPs of the BSP with whom relations of the Congress have of late reached a nadir with party MP Rahul Gandhi camping in Uttar Pradesh and carrying a sustained campaign against Ms Mayawati's ''misrule''. Earlier, the BSP supremo had levelled allegations against the Congress leadership of conspiring to eliminate her, being afraid of her party's growing popularity all over the country.

BSP MP Ambed Rajan said they would be going to the dinner. He also expressed ignorance about any invitation extended to party supremo Mayawati.

Along with the growing tension between the BSP and the Congress, there have been some indications of the latter drawing closer to the Samajwadi Party with whoms the Congress had a very tense relation just one and a half years ago when it had withdrawn its outside support to the Mulayam Singh Government in UP.


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