Cong downplays Chavan''s remarks on coalition

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) After damage control on RahulGandhi''s reported comments on coalition politics, Congresstoday played down Maharashtra Chief Minister PrithvirajChavan''s remark that that coalition politics was sometimes ahurdle in decision-making.

"All that Maharashtra Chief Minister said was regarding apolitical reality. This is a comment about a political fact.

No body is doing a value judgement on coalition politics.

There is no question of denying coalitions," partyspokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here.

Singhvi at the same time said, "any political partywants to come to power at its own. But since politics cannothappen in a vacuum, alliances happen where they arerequired... Chavan was only stating political fact".

His comments came in response to questions on thestatement of Chavan, who said in Mumbai,"coalition can be ahindrance and one has to find a way out to make thingshappen".

The Maharashtra Chief Minister had said the dynamicsof coalition politics mean that there are "certain decisionsthat can''t be taken.

"At times, I get a call from (NCP boss) Sharad Pawar,who has a view on a situation...there are times when even AjitPawar (deputy chief minister and Sharad Pawar''s nephew) doesnot agree with him."

"Had it been a prime minister like Manmohan Singh andhad he got the kind of majority which Indira Gandhi and RajivGandhi had, the country''s growth rate would surely have beenmore by at least 1.5 to 2 per cent," he said.

Replying to questions on whether the party endorsesMaharashtra Chief Minister''s views against coalition or wasthere a rift between Congress and NCP, Singhvi said," don''tspeculate from simple statements. We are not reading any valuejudgement in it. Media is building castles in the air."

Yesterday, Rahul had at an interaction with students inLucknow was reportedly asked how the late Indira Gandhi wasable to control both the problems of price rise and corruptionand he had apparently said that Indira Gandhi was able to doit because she had led a single-party government and now theUPA faced coalition compulsions.

As NCP leader D P Tripathi reacted sharply to it, bothCongress and the ally had to immediately go for damagecontrol. Congress accused media of "misreporting" andmaintained that Rahul had not said "anything of that sort".

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior Congressleader felt the existence of a UPA coordination committeecould have helped in such situations.

"It was not an institutional disconnect but an individualdisconnect" was his refrain when asked whether there was adisconnect with NCP in UPA II that an ally leader went onoffensive against Gandhi without cross-checking facts withCongress.

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