No strain in Cong-Trinamool ties: Bansal

Bansal dismissed speculations of strains in Cong ties with Mamata and downplayed reports over the possibility of increased role for SP in UPA.

New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Wednesday dismissed speculations of strains in Congress ties with Mamata Banerjee and downplayed reports over the possibility of increased role for Samajwadi Party in UPA.

"Mamata ji with us. She is fully with us. There is no question of any adjustment (problem)," Bansal said when asked whether SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav sharing the dais with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at a UPA function on Tuesday is an indication of the two parties coming closer in wake of strains in Congress ties with Trinamool Congress.

Insisting that nothing more should be read into Mualayam`s sitting with Gandhi during the release of UPA-II`s report card last night, Bansal said, "He (Yadav) is a senior leader. We asked him to take a seat at a proper place, which he accepted. That is all."

The Union Minister also said had BSP chief Mayawati come to attend the function, she would also have been offered a seat at the dais.

"She did not come. Had she come, she would been given a seat there itself," he said when asked whether Mayawati would also been seated on the dais with Sonia Gandhi had the former UP chief minister attended the function.

Pointed out that it was the same Mulayam, whose party`s manifesto was torn away by Rahul Gandhi at a function during the UP assembly elections in past, the Congress leader said it should be treated as a "virtue of democracy" that opponents come together.
Bansal at the same time chose to stress that both SP and RJD are supporting the UPA government from outside and they have been giving "help" whenever required by the UPA-II government in the last three years since it came to power in 2009.

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