Tuesday, Feb 26, 2002
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NEW DELHI, FEB. 25. The Congress today indicated that it would try and ensure that ``that a government is not formed by or with the support of communal forces'' in Uttar Pradesh. It also made it clear that it was willing to put the past behind it in the context of its support to the Samajwadi Party. ``We don't want to be a prisoner of the past,'' said the party spokesperson, Jaipal Reddy.
The consensus at last night's informal CWC meeting appeared to be that given the arithmetic, it was unlikely that the Samajwadi Party would be able to muster the required number to cross the majority mark of 202.
The Congress also preferred to wait and watch how the situation developed on the BSP-BJP front as well as Mulayam Singh Yadav's attempts to muster the required numbers. It sought to cover its flanks by making it clear that it would not come in the way of a secular group forming the government, provided the numbers added up.
By making it clear that it was willing to ``forget the past, - Mr. Yadav's role in indirectly helping the BJP by preventing the Congress from forming a government in 1999 and his personalised attack on the Congress president, Ms. Gandhi, the party was trying to occupy the moral high ground''.
``We are not guided by personal angularities. Unlike others, the Congress knows how to put national interest above that of the party,'' says a CWC member.
The party was also responding to proddings from the Left parties which have been working overtime to bridge the gap between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress and to bring about a rapprochement between Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Yadav.
The Congress today admitted that the CPI(M) general secretary, Harkishan Singh Surjeet, had tried to establish contact last night with Ms. Gandhi in this connection.
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