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Alvi snubbed for attacking SP

The Samajwadi Party [SP] sharply attacked Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi on Thursday for describing SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav as an agent of the Bhartiya Janta Party [BJP]. Alvi, on Wednesday night while addressing a public rally in Moradabad, in Uttar Pradesh [UP], had said that Mulayam Singh Yadav is 'the biggest agent of the BJP'. He made these remarks while campaigning for local bodies elections.

Alvi also said: 'Yadav dances to the tunes of the saffron party.' When contacted, Alvi told Millennium Post, 'What I said was at a public meeting. Election time is on in Uttar Pradesh, so it was a meeting for the municipal corporation elections, in which the SP as well as the BJP are also contesting.

Those statements were a part of the speech I delivered during the public meeting. It was not a separate statement issued by me.' Later, retracting his statement, after the Congress snubbed him, Alvi reportedly said, 'My party has asked me to withdraw the statement given in Moradabad. So I withdraw my statement.'

The Congress has distanced itself from Alvi's statements. AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi regretted Alvi's remark saying it did not reflect the party's view. Dwivedi said: 'The party does not approve of this. The Congress has always been in favour of uniting all secular forces.'

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, commenting on this issue, said, 'Alvi's remarks court controversy at a time when Yadav has given SP's support to the United Progressive Alliance's [UPA] presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

The SP, on its part, was particularly miffed at Alvi's statement. Lashing out at Alvi, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said: 'If someone goes mad, I cannot comment on it... You should ask the
Congress about this. I don't want to give this much importance.'

SP leader Shahid Siddiqui said, 'Rashid Alvi is the spokesperson of the Congress party and I hope that he has made the statement after taking permission from his president... else the Congress should take action against him.

There is no other leader as popular as Mulayam Singh and this statement shows the frustrations of Rashid Alvi and the Congress party. I hope he apologises for this.'
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