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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

All allies ditch Congress over riots

New Delhi, Aug. 9: The Congress finds itself totally isolated among its allies as it tries to control the fallout of the Nanavati Commission findings and the Action Taken Report. The Left parties on Tuesday refused to back the Congress stand, and leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party and others have remained silent. The Left parties in fact have called for action against those named by the Nanavati Commission.

Following the allies� silence, the Congress� core group met here on Tuesday night at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh�s residence to discuss the impact of the two reports. The meeting attended by party chief Sonia Gandhi, defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister Shivraj Patil, parliamentary affairs minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mrs Gandhi�s political secretary Ahmed Patel lasted for an hour.

The Congress has a history of removing chief ministers on �inference�, like it did Maharashtra�s Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar. In this case, however, Central leaders have shielded those indicted by the commission, like Mr Jagdish Tytler, on technical grounds. The government, meanwhile, has let it be known that it was willing to discuss the report and the ATR under any rule, including the adjournment motion tabled by the BJP and others, after the Opposition stalled Parliament on Tuesday.

This was conveyed by Mr Azad to Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra, BJP deputy leader in the Lok Sabha. Mr Malhotra told this correspondent when contacted that the Opposition would take part in the House on Wednesday if the government agrees to discuss the issue under the adjournment motion.

Sources indicated that the government was also willing to modify the ATR on the basis of the debate on it.� A section of the Congress favours the resignation of Union minister Jagdish Tytler. In fact, he should have asked for the inquiry on the basis of the commission�s report on his own, they felt.

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