SP does not rule out joining Govt, says open to reforms

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New Delhi, Jul 25 (UNI) Despite repeated denial that it had extended support to the UPA Government out of any greed for power, the Samajwadi Party has not ruled out joining the Government at some stage.

It also said as a biggest party among those extending outside support to the Government, it would like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his officials to consult it on the issues related to reform.

Party General Secretary Amar Singh today told reporters that the issue of joining the government was yet to be discussed at a formal meeting of the party, and any final decision would be taken by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

''This question should be directed to our party chief, as I am not authorised to take this decision,'' he said when asked whether the party would be accepting any Cabinet berths as a return for its support to the Government.

When asked about the party's stand towards the reforms process, Mr Singh said the SP would play a constructive role in matter.

''We would not support every reform, but we would not play the role of the Left parties either,'' said Mr Singh.

However, the SP leader expetced the Prime Minister and his officials to discuss the issues related reforms with them as their party was the largest group extending support to the Government from outside.

Mr Singh vehemently denied that he had asked for removal of Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora because of his view that oil companies should be allowed to enjoy windfall profit out of the rise in petroleum products.

He said he had not made any demand for removal of Finance Minister P Chidambaram also.

''I am not opposed to Mr Deora and Mr Chidambaram personallly, but I am against the windfall profit and the price rise,'' he said replying to a question.

The SP leader said his party would not embarrass Sonia Gandhi and become a stumbling block for the Government.

Referring to repeated insinuations that his posturing on various economic and corporate matter was in anyway connected with Mr Anil Ambani, Mr Singh said he had only personal relations with the industrialist as he himself was an industrialist, though not of his stature.

He said Ambani and a prominent figure of the film industry were suffering because of their relations with him, which was very painful for him.

UNI NAZ RL HS1837

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