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Digvijay Singh takes a dig at Gadkari over his remarks on Sonia

June 16, 2011 - New Delhi

Reacting to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari's remarks that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's resolve to fight corruption is similar to Pakistan fighting terrorism, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh today termed it to be baseless, and described Gadkari as inconsequential.

"Gadkari is a person we need not respond to because his stature is such that he is one person, who has never won an election all his life, but is just banking on the strength of his support, of Mohan Bhagwat of RSS, he has become the national president of BJP. So, he doesn't deserve to be taken seriously, but at the same time he should first introspect himself," said Singh.

"What has he (Gadkari) done against the corruption charges of Karnataka Chief Minister? What has he done against the corruption charges of Reddy brothers of Karnataka? What has he done against the corruption charges of Uttarakhand Chief Minister? What has he done against the corruption charges of Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh (Raman Singh)?" he asked.

Addressing a party meeting in Kolkata on Wednesday, Gadkari said: "Soniaji says that they will fight corruption. I said in jest that it is as if Pakistan says that it would fight against terrorism. When Pakistan says this, the people of Pakistan and the rest of the world don't believe it. So when Congress Party leaders state that they will fight corruption, the Congress members as well the people of the country don't believe it."

Commenting on the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, Digvijay Singh said the government is open to the opinions of the civil society activists, but added that there is a constitution, which needs to be followed by everyone.

"The so-called civil society members, who have assumed the responsibility for the country's civil society, so therefore, now they also have to understand that this is a Parliamentary democracy, there is a constitution, there is a Parliament, which frames the law, which frames the rules, and which is accountable to the people," said Singh.

"So, therefore, they should also understand, under the nuances of all this, eminent people are there in the drafting committee and therefore, they should not say that either the government is with them or they are against us. So, this kind of attitude would not help," he added.

No consensus was reached between the 10-member panel of government and civil society representatives during the sixth meeting the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill on Wednesday.

Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal after the meeting said if there is no consensus on key issues, two drafts will be submitted to the Cabinet.


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