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UPA-II anniversary celebrations to be a Cong affair

Source: PTI
May 21, 2010 21:01 IST
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The United Progressive Alliance's first anniversary celebration tomorrow is essentially going to be a Congress affair.
Barring Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, no other top leader of any of the ally or supporting parties is expected to be present at the bash to mark six years in office of the Congress-led coalition.

Nationalist Congress Party chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has gone abroad and so has National Conference patron and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah.

SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is busy in Kolkata with the party's National Executive meet which began today while there is no word from Lalu Prasad so far.

BSP chief and UP Chief Minister Mayawati is keeping the suspense in the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi virtually declaring a war against her party in the run-up to the 2012 Assembly elections in the state.

DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has also been invited but there has been no official word from Chennai so far. Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin, who has been representing his father in many official engagements in Delhi, is also not coming.

Karunanidhi's son and Union Minister M K Alagiri who has often found himself in controversies for his absence in Parliament, is currently on a personal visit to the US.

DMK leaders T R Baalu and Union Ministers A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran are expected to attend the celebrations.
In the absence of Pawar, NCP deputy leader and Union Minister Praful Patel would represent the party at the function, while
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will represent the National Conference.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are expected to unveil 'Report to the People' on the occasion giving details of achievements of the alliance after it assumed power for the second time in a row on May 22 last year.

Several Congress leaders and Union Ministers are expected to attend the function at the Prime Minister's residence.
Government has already downplayed reports of several ministers going on foreign tours when the first anniversary is being celebrated.

"You cannot say they are holidaying. Some may have gone. But the reason is that not many official foreign tours happen when Parliament is in session," Minister of State in the PMO, Prithviraj Chavan has said.

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