Sycophancy advice not meant for DMK and others : Congress

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New Delhi, Apr 16 (UNI) The Congress today clarified that its advice to shun sycophancy, in the context of the demand for projecting AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Ministerial candidate, was meant for the Party leaders and not intended to cover leaders of other constituents of the ruling UPA coalition.

AICC Spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons that the Committee's statement issued yesterday asking the leaders to end speculation on the future prime Minister and not to indulge in sycophancy was not targeted at any individual or group.

"It is a general statement...It should not be subscribed to any individual," he said, replying to questions on whether the statement was targeted at Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee who propped up Mr Gandhi as UPA's next Prime Ministerial candidate.

Asked if the party considered as sycophancy, the support expressed by DMK leader M Karunanidhi and NCP leader Sharad Pawar to the proposal to project Mr Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Ahmed said "Mr Karunanidhi was a senior leader of this country. What he had said was his opinion." In this context, he said the statement issued by the AICC yesterday (in which the party said its President Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi always kept away from any environment of sycophancy) was meant for the Congress people.

"The statement was never against Mr Karunanidhi or leaders of any other partners of the ruling UPA coalition." He said the Congress had a tradition of electing its Prime Minister after the elections there was no vacancy for the post of Prime Minister at present, he added.

He said Dr Manmohan Singh was not a weak Prime Minister as was sought to be projected by the Opposition BJP. He had done a lot of good work.

Asked if Mr Arjun Singh was yesterday summoned by Ms Sonia Gandhi in the context of his statement supporting Mr Gandhi as next Prime Ministerial candidate, he said he had several issues to be discussed with the Congress President.

UNI SH SB RK1850

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