The government on Wednesday rejected BJP leader Sushma Swaraj's contention that Sonia Gandhi had prevented her from speaking in Lok Sabha as "completely baseless" and said the "unjustified" and "virulent" personal attack on the Congress president was condemnable.
Finance minister P Chidambaram and information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said Swaraj's contention was not substantiated by the visual proceedings of the Lok Sabha and it was "sad" that she levelled the allegations.
Chidambaram said he still hopes that BJP would have a rethink on its decision of not attending the meetings to be convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath so that pending legislative business could be completed before the Budget session ends on May 10.
"I was present in the House and my other colleagues were also there. The entire broadcast of that time was telecast by some channels later in the day. There is no visual to show that the Congress President interrupted Swaraj or did anything else to prevent her from speaking," Chidambaram told a press conference here.
"The allegations are completely baseless and we reject these. I do not think Congress did anything. Such virulent attack is unjustified. I am sorry she (Swaraj) made the allegations," he said.
Swaraj, the Leader of Opposition who had to cut short her speech in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, had alleged that she was prevented from speaking as Gandhi "instigated" ministers.
Tewari said it was "sad" that Swaraj had made a personal attack on Gandhi and that it is "condemnable".
Taking a dig at Swaraj, Chidambaram said she also would have thought later that she should not have made such allegations.