Congress snubs Arjun again

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New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) In what is seen as another snub at senior Congress leader Arjun Singh, the Congress Party today said there is no lack of inner party democracy in it and there was no basis in the allegation to the contrary made by him in his latest book.

AICC Spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons that Congress President Sonia Gandhi had been discussing all issues with the partners of the ruling UPA coalition and also within the party. "She has always been fair and transparent." He denied the allegation of Mr Singh that the process of consultations within the party had fallen into a bit of disarray now.

Mr Ahmed initially refused to react to the observations of Mr Singh saying that he would make known his views only after the book was officially released.

He was speaking to newspersons at the AICC an hour before the book was released at a function at the Parliament annexe.

In his book, Mr Singh, who had recently embarrassed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by openly supporting Rahul Gandhi becoming Prime Minister, said "when people do not have the feeling that they have contributed to the decision making process, they have no hassles in defying it." Last month, the Party had snubbed Mr Singh for supporting Mr Gandhi's candidature to Prime Ministership even while continuing as a minister in the Council of Ministers headed by Dr Manmohan Singh.

A day after his Rahul-the-PM remark, the AICC issued a statement trying to discourage "an environment of sycophancy." Referring to the statement of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya that the Congress had lost all the state assembly elections after Dr Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister, Mr Ahmed said "Mr Bhattacharya should first verify facts before making such allegations." In this context, he pointed out that the Congress had won the assembly elections in Haryana and Jharkhand. "We will get absolute majority in Karnataka assembly elections." UNI SH MSJ US1915

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