HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Sonia accuses BJP of blackmail
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 28, 2012
First Published: 08:43 IST(28/8/2012)
Last Updated: 00:38 IST(29/8/2012)
CAG observations disputable: PM

Taking forward her party's combative approach against the BJP, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday accused the saffron party of making "political bread and butter" by holding Parliament to ransom by "blackmail".

"This attitude of 'our way or no way' makes a mockery of the vision of our founding fathers and of the constitutional framework," she told a meeting of the Congress parliamentary party (CPP) on the sixth day of disruptions in Parliament.

The BJP was quick to refute the charge.

"A government whose integrity has been painted black in coal deals cannot be blackmailed. The single diet of Congress ever since Bofors has been kickbacks and commissions," said senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

From day one of the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, a usually calm Gandhi has displayed an unprecedented show of aggression, forcing veteran BJP leader LK Advani to retract his remarks that the UPA-II was "illegitimate" and egged on her members to counter the Opposition onslaught.

File photo of Congress Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi. PTI

On Tuesday in the House, Gandhi - in a rare gesture - first walked up to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and sat with him for a brief chat.

Later, she was seen directing information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni to stand up and counter the BJP's slogan shouting.

"It is a matter of regret, even shame, that at a time when serious issues are affecting our people and our country, Parliament is not being allowed to function and fulfil its proper constitutional role and duty," Gandhi said.

"How many times will we have to witness this deliberate and cynical disruption?" she asked.

"Let us stand up and fight, fight with a sense of purpose and fight aggressively," Gandhi told party members.

"We will not be deflected by the intemperate Congress-bashing by the opposition."

She defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the CAG report on coal block allocation, saying the BJP's demand for his resignation was "politically motivated".

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