Pranab issues subtle warning to allies at PM's dinner meet

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Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, Mar 14: With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's dinner diplomacy not able to create any waves among the UPA allies, the Trinamool Congress decided to trash the PM's invitation all together. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee displayed her defiant self when none of the TMC Ministers attended the dinner.

On the changed scenario, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in a strongly worded comment said that allies should stand together or else the government could fall. He has been quoted as saying, "If we don't stand together, cut motions moved by the Opposition could pass. If we do not stick together the government could fall."

Aptly called the UPA's firefighter, Pranab stated that any attempts to amend the President's Address or cut motions to Budget could cost the government dearly.

According to sources, the dinner saw allies being explained that a move to amend the President's address like that of the Trinamool is going to prove costly to the government. Trinamool had sought a deletion of a paragraph of the President's speech that mentioned the NCTC. Pranab apparently stated that as part of the ruling coalition, such actions were unwarranted.

Ratna De Nag, Trinamool representative stated that her party was not for destabilising the government and only was keen on a good package for West Bengal.

On the TMC's defiant attitude, Home Minister P Chidambaram said, "TMC's representative was present in the meeting, others are busy as Bengal assembly is on. Every party's representative was here."

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