The government today rejected as completely baseless BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s contention that Sonia Gandhi had prevented her from speaking in Lok Sabha 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 ”instigated ministers.
Tewari said it was sad that Swaraj had made a personal attack on Gandhi and it is condemnable.
Taking a dig at Swaraj,Chidambaram said she also would have thought later that she should not have made such allegations.
On the BJP’s decision to boycott meetings to be convened by the Speaker and Parliamentary Affairs Minister,Chidambaram said it was a sad development for the democracy.
Asked whether the stand-off with Opposition which is not allowing Parliament to function would affect the key reforms bills,the Finance Minister said,I haven not given up hope. I hope the Opposition will return to Parliament and these bills can be passed. We are ready to move these bills.
While keeping the hope alive,he noted that there are seven more working days left before the Budget Session ends on May 10.
Among the key bills pending are Food Security Bill,Land Acquisition Bill and Insurance Bill and there is a question mark over these as Parliament has been stalled since last week.
When referred to the Opposition demand for resignation of Ashwani Kumar in connection with coal issue,Chidambaram pointed out that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already said whatever action has to be taken,it will be taken after he studies the Supreme Court’s observations.
There will be a response, he said.