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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Swaraj's charge against Sonia merely an excuse: Congress

PTI  New Delhi, April 30, 2013
First Published: 21:00 IST(30/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:37 IST(30/4/2013)

Congress on Tuesday rejected BJP's accusation against Sonia Gandhi of not allowing the opposition to air their views in Parliament, saying it was an "excuse" to disrupt the House and hit out at Sushma Swaraj for her decision to boycott meetings called by the Lok Sabha speaker.

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Describing the BJP leader's allegation as "completely untrue", Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary took a dig at Swaraj over "prejudices in the past" and recalled that she had threatened to get her head shaved if Sonia Gandhi became the prime minister during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

"The country had then said 'yes' to Gandhi but it was she (Gandhi) who said 'no' (to prime ministership)," she said.

"Democracy does not function in this manner. If you are looking for excuses to disrupt Parliament, you should find out some other excuse," Chowdhary told reporters at an AICC briefing.

"If she does not want the meetings called by even the Lok Sabha speaker, this is casting aspersions on the honourable speaker. If she had decided to boycot the meetings of the speaker, then it's an individual choice that she has made," she said.

Holding that it is very unfortunate that a senior leader like Swaraj, whom Congress holds in "high esteem", has made "an allegation, which is completely untrue", Chowdhary wondered how the BJP leader can know what Gandhi told her ministers.

"It is a very unfortunate and uncharitable accusation being made against Gandhi. I do not know how she is privy to what Gandhi has spoken to anyone sitting across the floor. I doubt it very much. It is very unfair accusation against Gandhi.

"And we cannot forget the history of such prejudices. Should we remind them that it was Sushma Swaraj, who had in the past said that she would get her head shaved if Gandhi became the prime minister," she said.

The Congress spokesperson said each individual has to take accountability and responsibility and conduct oneself within those pararmeters in Parliamentary democracy.

Earlier on Tuesday, the BJP leader had alleged that she was prevented from speaking in the House this morning because Gandhi had "instigated" Congress members to create disturbances.


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