Congress dodges Baalu issue

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) The Congress today sought to distance itself from the controversy surrounding the open admission of DMK leader and Shipping Minister T R Baalu that he had used his official position to get benefits to two companies associated with his family.

"The matter was raised in Parliament and the minister concerned had already replied," AICC Spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told mediapersons, in a clear indication that the Congress did not want to antagonise its ruling UPA coalition partner DMK.

She, however, said in another context that "the Congress always believed in highest standards in probity in public life".

"I have nothing to add," She said refusing to give a reply to repeated questions on how the Congress viewed the Minister's act.

When a reporter brought to her attention the reports that the Prime Minister's office had written eight letters to the Petroleum Ministry to remind the issue relating to the company of Mr Baalu's family, Ms Natarajan said she had no knoweldge about the letters." UNI SH HS HT1900

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