Cong distances itself from SP after Mulayam remark

Lucknow

The Congress Tuesday sought to distance itself from the Samajwadi Party saying it was a "mere outside supporter". The party also termed SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's comments equating Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's surprise visit to relief camps as that of "a thief", as a sign of "frustration".

"He is making such kind of statements because they (SP) are frustrated. It is absolutely rubbish to say that we entered Muzaffarnagar like a thief. We went there in broad day light, met victims and saw the pathetic condition of camps, which are leaking, where children do not have clothes and people are insecure and are afraid to go back to their home," AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry told The Indian Express.

Mistry had accompanied Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Muzaffarnagar and Shamli relief camps on Sunday along with Union Minister RPN Singh.

Meanwhile, state Congress chief, Nirmal Khatri, questioned SP support to UPA by saying, "Who asked them (SP) to support it?"

His reaction came after party workers in Varanasi, where Congress has planned two-day long protest against the state government on December 26 and 27, confronted Khatri during a review meeting and complained about "misconception among public that Congress and SP are together."

"I told party workers in both Varanasi and Chandauli that Congress never invited them (SP) to support UPA. They are extending outside support at their own will in the name of secularism. There has never been any sympathy from our end towards them," Khatri told The Indian Express.

Mistry added that SP's on-and-off relationship with Congress has been mainly issue based even in the past. "They supported Congress on some issues and opposed on others. We had organised a protest against them last month and we are all prepared to attack them again in Varanasi," the senior leader added.

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