Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan on Friday accused Congress chief Sonia Gandhi of extending support to suspended IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal for political benefits.
Commenting on the letter written by Gandhi as chairperson of National Advisory Council to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking that Nagpal is not unfairly treated, Khan said, "Has her (Gandhi's) stature reduced to this level that she has started writing for a SDM rank official?"
"In view of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, this SDM will be posted somewhere and she (Durga) will get 10 fake votes in favour of Congress," he said.
Attacking Gandhi, Khan further said, "She has affected our federal system by interfering in the matter."
Reacting strongly on Khan's statement, former Congress chief of Uttar Pradesh and MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, "Azam Khan always makes such statements...when he talks about the Congress and votes, we know who manages votes... We know who takes votes on the basis of money and muscle."
Khan should know that its Central government's policy that no honest officer is penalised and every IAS has a right to approach the Central government against their grievances, she said.
Joshi further said, "She (Sonia) has only made a request to the PM in a letter to ensure that an honest officer is no penalised... Where is the issue of affecting the federal structure involved in the matter....She was not talking about PCS officers."
The Congress leader added, "I think, she has made a very relevant point in the letter and we don't take seriously the statements made by the ministers of the state government."
Khan on August 7 had accused media of glorifying Nagpal as "Durgaji", and said her case was highlighted while other such suspensions went unnoticed.
"The media has projected Durga as Durgaji. Otherwise in such cases, officers from the level of managing director to chief engineer get suspended and not even a single line is published," Azam, who was in Bareilly had told reporters.