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Sonia asked not to contest

In an embarrassment to the already faction-ridden Gujarat Congress, a sitting woman MLA of the party in Kutch district has urged party president not to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON APR 05, 2004 08:48 PM IST

In an embarrassment to the already faction-ridden Gujarat Congress, a sitting woman MLA of the party in Kutch district has urged party president Sonia Gandhi not to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and project herself as a Prime Ministerial candidate" as her "foreign origin" issue has already embedded deeply on people's mind.

"I firmly believe that the foreign issue that has been raked up by BJP and other parties has been deeply embedded in minds of people. Even Congress leaders are aware about this", Dr Nimaben Acharya, the sitting MLA from Anjar in Kutch district told PTI over phone tonight.

"I also believe that Sonia must not contest the Lok Sabha elections and project herself as a Prime Ministerial candidate", Acharya said adding she has written a letter to Gandhi conveying her views.

Asked about the letter, AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said that he had not gone through it but if need be it can be referred to the disciplinary committee.

"Sonia has been working day and night for the party and I was absolutely sure that she would not contest the polls. But ultimately she did and her projection of PM candidate is coming in way of forging alliances", Acharya said.

Asked whether Congress has been unsuccessful in tackling BJP on raking the foreign issue, Acharya said "the party never gave it any importance as a result of which Congress seats began to decline."

On whether she feared disciplinary action, Acharya said "As a senior party member, I must have the liberty to air my views. I have only lent voice to what is people's mind and what most of the Congress leaders feel", she said.

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