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Amar Singh swears revenge for humiliation

July 29, 2004 15:57 IST

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh on Thursday said his public humiliation at Sonia Gandhi's dinner party in the run up to the government formation will cost the Congress dear.

The Samajwadi Party was not invited to a dinner hosted by Gandhi at her residence for prospective allies as she tried to cobble together a coalition government after the fractured verdict in the general election.

When Communist Party of India (Marxist) veteran Harkishen Singh Surjeet, who was at the centre of all efforts to put together a secular alternative to the National Democratic Alliance, took Amar Singh to the dinner, the latter was ignored by the host.

"What was done to me, the public humiliation and then the bravado expressed by the Congress, it will cost them dearly because all the constituents of the Congress party and ours are of the same pattern," Singh told Karan Thapar in BBC's 'Hard Talk India' programme.

He admitted that he felt "unwanted" at the party at 10, Janpath. "I am very ashamed I went there. I should not have gone there," said Singh.
Singh said the Congress president did not even look at him. "She did not talk to me at all...Surjeet was sitting with me so as to pacify me and my hurt feelings," he said.

Asked whether Congress is taking SP for granted or does it simply not care about it, he replied: "Both."

"I would be lying if I say there is no trouble...definitely there is a troubled relationship. I think it is emanating from the top, from the Congress party, not from the government. I would say in the Congress party, everything is decided from the top so I would not like to name the person...but the problems come from the top, definitely," he said.

Asked how was he received on his arrival at Gandhi's residence, he said: "First of all, we were made to sit outside in a small chair. And Ahmed Patel received us. He went in, and after five minutes came out and said, 'please come
in'. Each one sitting in the room, particularly from the Congress side, except Ghulam Nabi Azad, they gave me very, very cold looks. If looks can kill, I was almost killed."

Singh claimed that the Congress had appointed K Natwar Singh and Ahmed Patel to "keep him in good humour" before the Lok Sabha elections. "However, after the results were announced, they (the Congress) thought, it (SP) was irrelevant."

"Had there not been a debacle of the BJP by our effort - we defeated Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and Swami
Chinmayananda - then the two historical events would not have taken place. Sonia Gandhi would not have got the opportunity to shun power and attain sainthood, and Manmohan Singh would not have become prime minister," Singh said.

"We are not given any credit for this. On the contrary, we are being discarded, rejected and very shabbily treated," the SP general secretary said.
On when would his party withdraw support to the UPA government, Singh said: "It is a game of patience and tolerance, and there is no need to act in haste."

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