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Since 1st March, 1999
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Amar jumps to George’s rescue

New Delhi, May 31: The Samajwadi Party today came to the rescue of former defence minister George Fernandes, warning the Congress that “vindictive” politics would backfire.

“I have seen the statement of an MoS. It is vindictive politics. Wherever there was vindictiveness, the result has been just the opposite,” party general secretary Amar Singh said, without referring to the Congress and minister of state for science and technology Kapil Sibal's statement that Tehelka tapes were genuine.

Sibal had also said that the inquiry into the Tehelka operation during NDA rule should proceed with transparency and the Ayodhya demolition case, from which BJP leader L.K. Advani was “rescued” by the “CBI”, should be “put back on the rails”.

The Samajwadi has been soft on NDA convener Fernandes. It had refused to join the Opposition’s boycott of him in Parliament over the last 22 months over the Tehelka and coffin scams.

Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was also accused of bailing out Advani in the Babri Masjid demolition case by not appealing against the Rae Bareli special court order acquitting the former deputy Prime Minister in the conspiracy case.

Assailing moves of a “media trial before investigations” into the Tehelka scandal, Amar cautioned the UPA government against politics of vendetta. He made the suo motu statement while addressing the media after the Samajwadi parliamentary party meeting.

The party, whose 37 members in the Lok Sabha supports the Centre from outside, also made an indirect attack on the Congress-led coalition for inclusion of “tainted” ministers and for not taking supporting parties like the Samajwadi into confidence on key issues such as the common minimum programme.

Amar alleged that soon after coming to power, some ministers were making statements “smacking of vindictive politics”. The way Fernandes was being subjected to a “media trial before investigations” did not augur well, he added.

He said innumerable examples — right from the days of Emergency to the recent actions of the Punjab chief minister against his political opponents — showed that vindictive moves prove counterproductive.

The Samajwadi leader said his party was “not captive” to anybody, and would praise the government if it did good work and would not hesitate to criticise, if it went astray.

Asked about the party’s stand on the induction of chargesheeted leaders in the Union council of ministers, Amar said: “Our view is the same as that of the Left parties.”

The Left, without naming anyone, has criticised the inclusion of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav and two members of his party.

Amar expressed strong opposition to the UPA’s plans on the women’s reservation bill, saying that the Samajwadi was opposed to it in its present format.

He denied reports that their ally in Uttar Pradesh, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, might join the UPA. Amar said he and Mulayam Singh and Ajit Singh had a “nice meeting” today.

Earlier, the Samajwadi parliamentary party meeting elected Ram Gopal Yadav and Janeshwar Mishra its leaders in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

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