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Congress plays down Raja Bhaiya's induction in UP cabinet

The party stayed clear of suggestions that the SP and BSP were providing valuable cushion to the government at a time when Mamata Banerjee was throwing 'tantrums' on a number of issues.

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Congress plays down Raja Bhaiya's induction in UP cabinet
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Signalling growing warmth in its ties with SP, Congress on Tuesday hoped the UPA would continue to get constructive cooperation from that party even as it played down the induction of controversial leader Raja Bhaiya in Akhilesh Yadav's cabinet in Uttar Pradesh.

"There is a new government in UP. Propriety demands that it should be allowed to find its feet," Party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters while refusing to be drawn into the controversy surrounding Raghuraj Pratap alias Raja Bhaiya's affidavit filed with the EC before Assembly election in which he had eight declared criminal cases against him.

The party also dismissed BJP charges that the government brought the SP and BSP on board by holding CBI as a threat and attacked the Opposition for its "double standard" on the issue of CBI.

Tewari said Samajwadi Party had been supporting the government from the very beginning and hoped that the "constructive support" given by SP and other parties will continue even in future.

He steered clear of suggestions that the SP and BSP were providing valuable cushion to the government at a time when Mamata Banerjee was throwing 'tantrums' on a number of issues.

"I will not lend myself to the phraseology used by you. In a coalition arrangement every political party does not come from same understanding of an issue. Divergence does not essentially mean disconsonance in coalition as some try to project," he said.

At the same time, Tewari rejected Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's charge that the ruling party was humiliating and bulldozing allies.

"We have treated all our allies with extreme sensitivity and utmost courtesy," he said.

"We have tried to talk to them, work with them...resolve problems to the best of our ability. We have deferred to their wishes as far as possible. This is, has been and will be our policy," he told reporters.

Tewari also downplayed a suggestion that SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's announcement in Lucknow yesterday that his party was not joining the UPA government was a setback for Congress.

"We are not joining the government. Neither have we requested the Congress to include us in the government nor has it made such an offer so far," Yadav had said.

Tewari said the party has been maintaining that the government should talk to Chief Ministers on NCTC issue since they have raised certain concerns.

He said the matter should be left to rest now as the Prime Minister has assured he will hold consultations with the states and nothing will be done which undermines the federal structure.

"The suggestion of allies are taken on every important issue. Effort is being taken to build a consensus. If consensus does not emerge on any issues, the best possible decision is taken in that eventuality. This is how a coalition government is run," he said.

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