The Congress on Friday dismissed as "completely baseless and untrue" the allegation that the UPA-Left Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil had shielded her brother. He is accused of being involved in a two-year-old murder case. The party charged its political rivals with “creating” the allegations following their failure to come up with a suitable candidate who can match up to Patil's stature in the upcoming presidential polls.
“The Congress strongly condemns the allegations and demands that the decorum of the presidential election be maintained…Our candidate has absolutely no connection with the allegations,” spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said while reacting to allegations that Patil's brother had a hand in the killing of Rajni Patil's husband in Jalgaon in Maharashtra.
Rajni, a professor in a Jalgoan college, levelled this charge at a press conference on Friday at the residence of Akali Dal leader S S Dhindsa who was out of Delhi. Demanding a CBI probe into the matter, she also released copies of a memorandum she had sent to President A P J Abdul Kalam.
On his part, Dhindsa distanced himself from the controversy saying that the press conference was held without his permission. He said Rajya Sabha member Tarlochan Singh had sought permission from him to hold a meeting of BJP leaders and he had allowed it.
NDA spokesperson Sushma Swaraj also denied any role in the episode. UNPA leader Chandrababu Naidu said all candidates and their backers should be beyond reproach and politics should be kept out of the Presidential contest.