Antony says Pawar is a valued UPA coalition colleague
New Delhi, Mar 21 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Wednesday said he was not inclined to comment on Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar's reported concern over Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's latest remarks on working with UPA allies.
Interacting with media here after Pawar had expressed dissatisfaction with Dr. Singh's view that difficult decisions become even more cumbersome in a coalition government, Antony said: "My commenting about his (Pawar's) statement would not be correct. I don't want to. He (Pawar) is one of our very valued colleagues."
Antony further added: "We are all part of a coalition. All of us meet, will continue to meet to discuss and sort out our (UPA) issues."
Pawar had earlier revealed: "My party and members of parliament raised this issue with me. They expressed their feelings, I thought it is my responsibility, being the head of the party, to communicate my party's concern regarding the statement."
Pawar also said that the NCP is disciplined party and it has been loyal to the ruling Congress.
"My party is one of the most important parties there (in Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coalition) from the last seven to eight years, and, I have not seen a single instance, and I do not know whether some of you (media persons) have seen that government has taken one decision and NCP has taken some other decision, or that a NCP member of parliament has raced from the house at the time of voting, or something else, nothing has happened from the NCP. The NCP is a disciplined party, and when we take a conscious decision to work in coalition, we respect the coalition," he added.
Congress leader Girija Vyas also rubbished reports of a rift between UPA and the NCP.
"I do not think there is any problem between Sharad Pawar and the Prime Minister. The underlying essence of their statements was to facilitate cooperation between allies and the government. Their viewpoints should not be misinterpreted. Sometimes there are differences between," said Vyas.
In the Rajya Sabha, Manmohan Singh had referred to the difficulties faced in heading a coalition government. . (ANI)
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