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'Cong. will not withdraw support to Bihar Govt.'

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, APRIL 8. The AICC(I) general secretary, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, today reiterated his party's stand that it would neither demand the resignation of the Bihar Chief Minister, Mrs. Rabri Devi, nor withdraw support to her Government in the wake of the CBI chargesheet against her.

Talking to reporters here, Mr. Azad said it was only an afterthought on the BJP's part of the BJP to include Mrs. Rabri Devi in the case as all its earlier efforts to dislodge her Government had proved futile. The NDA also could not come to power in the recent Assembly elections.

The TMC president, Mr. G. K. Moopanar, at whose residence the press conference was held said it was a vindictive act of the BJP to include Mrs. Rabri Devi's name in the case particularly after she became Chief Minister.

Mr. Azad pointed out that when the Opposition demanded the resignation of the Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, and the Human Resource Development Minister, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, did not concede the demand on the ground that mere chargesheeting did not warrant the resignation of a Minister. There could not be two yardsticks for the application of a general principle, he said.

Mr. Azad, replying to a question, said there was no divergence of opinion on this issue in the Congress(I). Asked about the ``grand alliance'' proposed by the Trinamool Congress leader, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, for dislodging the CPI(M) Government in West Bengal, Mr. Azad made it clear that the Congress(I) could not have any truck with the BJP either directly or indirectly. His party and the BJP could never be seen together in any arrangement, he said.

On the views expressed by the West Bengal Congress(I) leaders in favour of joining the proposed alliance, he said the party high command had not discussed the issue in detail.

The Congress(I) was not apathetic to an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the NCP in Maharashtra and the TMC in Tamil Nadu. But the BJP could not be included in any arrangement.

On whether there was any dilution of the Pachmarhi resolution on alliances, Mr. Azad said no party had been declared untouchable in the Pachmarhi resolution. What was emphasised was that the ultimate goal should be a single party rule by the Congress(I) at the Centre. There was nothing wrong in striking electoral alliances or coordinating with the offshoots of the Congress(I). There was nothing wrong in having a family gathering, he said in a lighter vein.

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