SP assures of support to UPA even if TMC pulls out

Samajwadi Party on Friday assured the Congress-led government at the Centre of its alliance to continue even if Trinamool Congress pulls out.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2012, 16:02 PM IST

New Delhi: With Trinamool Congress turning on the heat on the issue of rail fare hike, Samajwadi Party on Friday offered solace to the Congress, saying its outside
support to the coalition will continue.

"If Trinamool pulls out, our outside support will continue to the government," Samajwadi Party MP Shailendra Kumar told reporters here.
He dismissed speculation that the Samajwadi Party will be part of the Union Cabinet, saying, "There is no such thing".

Asked if the Congress and the SP were in talks on the issue, he said, "No talks are going on".

Kumar`s reaction came a day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi sent Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to the swearing-in of Akhilesh Yadav as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

It was a subtle signal from Gandhi that the Congress would like to bank on the support of the SP which has 22 members in the Lok Sabha.

The Trinamool Congress, which is the second-largest ally of the Congress, has 19 members in the Lower House.

Commenting on the Union Budget for 2012-13, Kumar said, "They have not done much for students and farmers and have not given much attention on the commodities used by poor people... It is a mixed budget".

PTI