Dehradun: Brushing aside the speculations of shifting loyalties to another political outfit, Congress stalwart ND Tiwari clarified that his Saturday meeting with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was a routine affair. Claiming himself as a dedicated Congress member, Tiwari termed Yadav as an old friend with whom he had enjoyed good relations for past many decades.

“I am committed towards Congress and will continue to serve the party as long as possible,” he told reporters after meeting Yadav. Tiwari maintained that he has always followed whatever responsibilities have been entrusted on him by the party high command. “Be it UP or Uttarakhand, I have abided by the instructions given by my party seniors,” he added.

Tiwari further stated, “Yadav respects me, and during his visit to Dehradun, he came to meet me. No political meaning should be concluded behind this meeting.”

On a different note, Tiwari claimed that he was unaware of the foundation stone laying ceremony of Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project by the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on November 9.

He, however, expressed gratitude to the Congress MPs, Satpal Maharaj and Vijay Bahuguna, for realizing the rail project in the region.