Congress questions Arjun's statement on emergency

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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) In yet another snub to embattled Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, the Congress today questioned his statement that he had expressed to Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi his strong opposition to the emergency.

"We don't recollect Mr Singh, during the past 30 years, ever pointing out anything about his opposition to emergency. Perhaps our memory is a little dim," AICC spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi told mediapersons.

When his attention was drawn to Mr Singh's yesterday's statement pledging his loyalty to Nehru-Gandhi family in an apparent bid to mend fences with the Congress leadership which he had criticised as lacking in democratic decision making, the Congress leader said "Mr Singh is a very senior leader...He himself opened the chapter and closed it." In this context, he said sycophancy had ever been encouraged by the Congress.

He said there was no basis in the allegation that the party lacked democratic decision making process. "In fact, the Congress has been accused of being too much of democracy and discussion.

There are multi-level avenues in the party for airing views." When a scribe pointed out that Mr Singh might have closed the chapter but not withdrawn his comments, Dr Singhvi said he did not want to say anything more on the issue.

"Whatever I wanted to say I have already said," he said while refusing to react to a question on if loyalty to a family meant loyalty to the Congress.

A senior Congress leader, meanwhile, said Mr Singh retracted his statement and reiterated his loyalty to the Gandhi family due to some compulsions. He, however, said that he was not aware of what those compulsions were.

The leader ruled out the possibility of initiation of disciplinary proceedings against Mr Singh.

UNI SH SP HS1811

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