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Amar Singh, the lone visitor for Natwar

Source: PTI
August 10, 2006 03:17 IST
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Suspended Congress leader Natwar Singh found no enthusiastic political supporters at his residence on Tuesday except Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, a day after the party brought the axe down on him.

Amar Singh went to the residence of the beleaguered former external affairs minister who lashed out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling him a 'weak' leader who was unable to stand by his colleagues in difficulty.

While many other opposition leaders kept away from Natwar, Amar held a 20-minute meeting with him and the battery of reporters camping in front of the former Union minister's residence kept on probing the Samajwadi leader whether the suspended leader will be joining his party.

Emerging from the meeting, Amar Singh said he did not discuss politics with Natwar and that it was only a 'courtesy call' to a person who was in trouble. "I always visit people who are in trouble."

He said Natwar had twice rejected SP's offer in the past. "We even offered the Bharatpur (Rajasthan) Lok Sabha seat to him when P V Narasimha Rao had expelled him from the party," he said.

With the Bharatiya Janata Party deciding to distance itself from Natwar saying that it could not support somebody whom it has forced to quit because of serious allegations of corruption, the number of new-found friends of the former external affairs minister suddenly appeared to be dwindling.

Minutes after Congress suspended Natwar late Tuesday night, BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Satrughnan Sinha, Amar Singh and Janata Dal (United) leader Digvijay Singh met Natwar on bringing a 'Sense of House' resolution on the Indo-US nuclear deal at the Samajwadi Party leader's residence. They later drove straight to Natwar's Teenmurti Lane residence and displayed their support.

Amar Singh said his party had on Wednesday offered Natwar the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by industrialist Anil Ambani but the latter rejected the offer.

Lashing out at Congress leaders for alleging that Natwar was keeping company of 'criminals like him,' the Samajwadi Party leader said he had a two-hour discussion with both Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi on Tuesday.

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