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Amar Singh attends UPA dinner
May 23, 2008 00:36 IST
Cosying up to the Congress, the Samajwadi Party on Thursday attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] to mark the United Progressive Alliance's government's four years in office when a lot of bonhomie was exchanged and calls for a consensus on the nuclear deal were made.
However, Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] and SP general secretary Amar Singh, the cynosure of all eyes who walked into the dinner late, did not exchange any greetings.
Singh, whose seat at the table with the prime minister was occupied by Karan Singh, went to another table and was soon joined by the prime minister.
Then followed Amar Singh's encomium for the prime minister: "My respect for the prime minister is very old. This is a reinforcement of our old rapport between him and me."
Asked whether the Congress was looking at a new relationship with the SP, the prime minister said, "In politics one always hopes for better times to come."
To questions on whether there was any fresh approach of the SP on key issues, Amar Singh said, "On issues like terrorism and nuclear deal, there should be a serious attempt at national consensus."
Asked for his views, the prime minister said, "National problems require national consensus."
He said he was open to discussions with everyone on these issues.
Sitaram Yechury, CPI-M, quipped "the match has been abandoned" alluding to the IPL cricket match that could not be held in the capital due to heavy downpour.
But the innuendo was not to be missed by Amar Singh who said "the referee is here" while pointing to the prime minister who was seated next to him.
Arjun Singh [Images], who has been under media glare for controversial statements, was seated on Sonia Gandhi's table along with Prakash Karat and CPI veteran A B Bardhan.
Some of the guests had to hastily shift to other tables as water started dripping at some places from the specially erected stand.