PMO, 10 Janpath turned into 'mandis': BJP

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New Delhi, Jul 18 (UNI) Alleging the Prime Minister's Office and Sonia Gandhi's residence as having turned into 'mandis', the BJP today said that with the date of trial of strength approaching, a desperate Congress had turned into a 'camp of bargaining'.

Alleging that in desperation, the Congress was adopting 'all means' -- money, ministerial berths, appointments and even amnesty from incarceration to criminals -- to stay in power, BJP parliamentary party spokesman V K Malhotra said, 'deals and dealing' was the order of the day.

''Today the PM's residence and Sonia's residence have turned virtually into a 'mandi' where bargains are being made to save the government at any and all costs.

''We are sure that the government will fall, despite the UPA or Congress having indulged in heavy horse-trading,'' he said while terming the PM calling on small parties as "nothing short of desperation".

Calling 'highly objectionable' the Punjab Congress' attempt to save Manmohan Singh's prime ministership by making it a 'Sikh' affair and an issue of 'pagri' for the community, Mr Malhotra said this was giving a communal colour to the issue.

''What could be more communal than Ms Bhattal calling upon people to save the 'pagri' of 'sardars' by saving Manmohan Singh, Amarinder Singh calling upon Akalis to stand for a 'Sikh' Prime Minister and organising an 'akhand paath' for him?,'' he queried.

This was a deliberate attempt to vitiate the atmosphere on communal lines, he said adding that people must remember that Dr Manmohan Singh had actively campaigned against Akalis and remained silent on 1984 riots.

''There is total harmony in Punjab with both Hindus and Sikhs living amicably. This should not be disturbed,''he said.

On Speaker Somnath Chatterjee 'writing' to his party that he did not want to vote with the BJP hence was not resigning, the BJP leader said the Communists had voted along with the BJP at several ocassions -- whether on Bofors issue or vote of confidence motion against Congress in 1991-92.

''With this, Mr Chatterjee's impartiality has come into question as this was a political statement.'' UNI AN PK CS1707

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