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SP to consult allies on appeal against verdict

By Our Special Correspondent

KOLKATA SEPT. 20. The Samajwadi Party general secretary, Amar Singh, said here today that his party would decide on appealing against the Rae Bareli court's verdict absolving the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, of all charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case only after consulting its coalition partners in Uttar Pradesh.

At a meet-the-press programme at the Kolkata Press Club, Mr. Singh said the SP was not in a position to go it alone on the issue of appealing against the court verdict as it was currently running a coalition Government. It had to ascertain views of the other allies such as Kalyan Singh and Ajit Singh also.

However, had the Congress participated in the Mulayam Singh Government in Uttar Pradesh, the SP would have found it easier to act on the verdict, he said.

Although the court had absolved Mr. Advani, the SP's position on the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh Parivar trying to divide the country on religious lines remained.

Mr. Singh said the SP would accept the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, as Prime Minister if the Congress gained majority in the next Lok Sabha elections and elected her as its leader.

The SP was not in a position to comment on whom it would support as Prime Minister as the question was "hypothetical" at this point, he said..

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