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Pawar, Mulayam will support Congress: Surjeet

By George Iype in New Delhi
May 14, 2004 17:55 IST
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Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet on Friday said both Sharad Pawar and Mulayam Singh Yadav have agreed to extend unconditional support to a Congress-led government at the centre.

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Addressing a press conference at his residence in New Delhi, Surjeet said he had a discussion with the two earlier in the day and they agreed to not let the issue of Gandhi's foreign origins become a stumbling block in the process of government formation.

He said both Pawar and Mulayam said the Gandhi's foreign origins is an old issue and they would not raise it at this juncture when the priority is to install a secular government at the centre.

Mulayam's Samajwadi Party has 36 MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha and Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party nine.

Surjeet said his party does not know as yet if the Forward Block and Rashtriya Socialist Party will support Sonia's bid.

The Forward Block and RSP have won three Lok Sabha seats each.

He said top leaders his party will sit together on Monday to discuss if they want be a part of the Congress-led government or support it from outside.

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George Iype in New Delhi