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Cong rejects CPM’s mediation in dispute with SP

Nirmalya BANERJEE

Wednesday 16 June 2004, by BANERJEE*Nirmalya

KOLKATA: Congress Working Committee member Ram Niwas Mirdha has rejected the offer of the CPM to mediate in the dispute between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing a Press conference in Kolkata on Wednesday, Mirdha said there was no ground for mediation. As a responsible opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress would have to continue criticize the state government. "The Left should not take things out of context," he said. "Nothing extraordinary has been done in UP."

"There is nothing wrong in our party’s action in Uttar Pradesh," Mirdha said. "Sonia and Rahul had gone to Rae Bareli where they found there was no power, water, school or roads. Naturally they held the state government responsible for it," he said.

Mirdha thought the Samajwadi Party was making an issue of it without any reason. There was no plan to impose President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh. He said as an opposition party, the Congress was criticizing the West Bengal government much more than it had criticized the UP government.

Mirdha made it clear that the Congress would perform the duty of an opposition party, "whatever be the consequence", in states where it was not running the government. "That we are taking support from the Left parties at the Centre does not mean that we will not criticize the West Bengal government."

Mirdha, also chairman of central election committee of All India Congress Committee, said the party had started a membership drive and would soon hold the organizational election. Though the election commission had asked it to complete the organisational election by the coming August, the party would need a few more months to complete the process.

P.S.

in The Times of India, Wednesday, June 16, 2004.

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