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June 25, 1999
Congress will bail out Bansi Lal
The Congress has declared that it would support the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister Bansi Lal in the Haryana Assembly today.
AICC General Secretary Ahmed Patel told newspersons in Chandigarh that as announced by Pranab Mukherjee, party observer for Haryana affairs on Tuesday, it was decided to bail out Bansi Lal to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Pary and the Om Prakash Chautala-led combine from forming an alternative government in the state.
The Bansi Lal Government was reduced to a minority after the 11-member Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew from the ruling coalition on June 22. Subsequently, Governor Mahabir Prasad asked Bansi Lal to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly by June 25.
Patel, who was accompanied by another general secretary of the party, Anil Shashtri in the Press Lounge of the Vidhan Sabha, said Bansi Lal would soon meet Party President Sonia Gandhi.
When reporters pointed out that former chief minister and a senior Congress leader, Bhajan Lal had opposed the move, Patel said that he too had been consulted.
The decision to support the Bansi Lal government came after day- long confabulations by the two central party leaders with Haryana legislators and the pradesh Congress president, Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
A group of legislators owing allegiance to Bhajan Lal, however, were closetted at the MLA's flat today while the meeting at Congress Bhavan was on. Former HPCC president, Birender Singh, legislators Khurshid Ahmed, Satendra Rana, Jai Singh Rana, Chandra Mohan and Kuldip Bishnoi came one after the other to attend the meeting after deliberating with Bhajan Lal.
Refusing to comment on whether the HVP ultimately would merge with the Congress, Patel said it would be between Sonia Gandhi and Bansi Lal to decide
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