Cong-SP bonhomie at UPA'S anniversary function

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New Delhi, May 22: The increased bonhomie between Congress and Samajwadi Party was visible during the function to mark the completion of three years of UPA II's here as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi released the annual report card on the government's performance.

Incidentally, as leaders of parties supporting UPA from outside --- SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad were present in the function, UPA's second biggest constituent Trinamool Congress sent only a junior minister Saugata Roy to attend the function.

Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary, however, denied that any message was sought to be given to anybody with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad sitting on the podium along with senior ministers and leaders of parties which have representatives in the cabinet. "This is no signal to anyone. We maintain the dignity of everybody. This is a matter of courtesy that Mulayam Singh Yadav came. It was his graciousness that he came," she said.

The Congress leader at the same time significantly added "In democracy anything is possible...In a democracy, we benefit only by talking and not by not talking" when asked whether the increased bonhomie between Congress and SP means the UPA alliance could be broadened during 2014 Lok Sabha polls with parties like SP and RJD also being part of it.

Responding to questions on the SP chief and the RJD chief sharing the dais with ministers, Union Minister RPN Singh said, "it was not about alliance". He said, "the fundamental politics of Congress has been to fight communalism. Wherever required, we have joined hands to strengthen secularism."

PTI

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