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Manmohan calls on Somnath

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Thursday and was with him for 10-15 minutes. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also called on the Speaker.

Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters after a meeting with Mr. Chatterjee that the Speaker had the full backing of the House.

Since his expulsion from the CPI(M) on Wednesday, the Speaker has had a string of visitors. Union Ministers P. Chidambaram, Shivraj Patil, Lalu Prasad and Vayalar Ravi have called on him and expressed their support to him.

Congress spokespersons have said the party welcomes and appreciates Mr. Chatterjee continuing in his position. The party said that under the Constitution or Parliamentary procedure or convention, it was not incumbent on him to quit.

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