Advani''s regret to Sonia on Swiss bank account issue

New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Senior BJP leader L K Advanihas expressed "deep regret" to Congress President Sonia Gandhiover an allegation in a report of a task force appointed byhis party that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts inSwiss banks.

While his apology was welcomed from the Congress partyand a dig from Information and Broadcasting Minister AmbikaSoni, there were said to be murmurs within his own party thecould have avoided targeting the Gandhis on secret Swiss bankaccounts abroad.

"I am happy that you have denied the reports relatingto you and your family alluded to in the Task Force''s Reporton Black Money.

"If these had been denied earlier the Task Force wouldhave taken your denial into account. Even so, I deeply regretthe distress caused to you," Advani had said in a brief lettersent to Gandhi on Thursday.

He was replying to a letter written by Gandhi onWednesday in which she had denied the allegation made in theTask Force report released on February 1, 2011.

The Congress welcomed Advani''s letter but Informationand Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni took a dig at the BJPveteran, saying she thought he had retired leaving the spacefor younger people like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.

"Mr Advani has been making a statement everyday ondifferent subjects... Probably, he is not having enough timeto study what he is saying," Soni said.

Notwithstanding Advani''s regret, the BJP said thatGandhi should have issued a rebuttal or a denial earlier asseveral magazines and journals had made these allegationsagainst her family members from time to time.

"The letter of L K Advani to Sonia Gandhi expressingregret over the pain caused to her on allegations of foreignbank accounts in her family members names has to be seen inthe proper context," BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad toldreporters. (More) PTI RC

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