Congress backs PM on joint statement

Prime Minister Manmohan SinghThe Congress has finally rallied behind a beleaguered Prime Minister and the government on the issue of the controversial Indo-Pak joint statement.

Ever since July 16 when the controversial Indo-Pak joint statement was signed by the prime ministers of the two countries, not a single Congress leader was prepared to go on record supporting the document. Thus, for a full week, the Manmohan Singh-bashing went completely undefended by the party.

Then, a six-member Congress core committee, consisting of senior ministers and other party leaders, met on July 24 and decided to defend the PM.

 The signal was enough for the party MPs and ministers to come out in full support of the Prime Minister. Never mind if it came after Manmohan Singh was attacked by the Opposition, experts and the media.

 "The Congress is confident that when the PM speaks in Parliament on July 29, he will set at rest all questions, all apprehensions and speculations relating to the statement at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt," AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

 Minority and Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurseed had this to offer: "There is no disagreement between the government and the party on the issue. The entire party is with the PM”.

 When asked why the party did not come out in support of PM earlier, Khurseed said: “The Congress was always with the PM wholeheartedly and there was no question of any differences.”

 Amid continued media grilling, Congress spokespersons had maintained all through last week that the party had nothing to add to the joint statement. “If you want any clarification, you can ask the government.”


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