Bharati's comments on Rahul not important: Azad

Ghulam Nabi Azad
Bangalore, Jan 20: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and AICC General Secretary, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said in Bangalore on Friday that the Congress should not accord importance to comments made by BJP leader Uma Bharati against Rahul Gandhi and instead focus on other issues like bringing the party back to power in Uttar Pradesh.

"I don't think we have to accord importance to such comments (made by Uma Bharati). There are other issues like bringing back the national party like Congress to power in UP," he told reporters on the sidelines of 16th NIMHANS Convocation here.

"In the last 20 to 22 years of regional parties' rule in UP, the issue of development has taken a backseat," Azad said.

"Focus should be on bringing Congress back to power in UP as it being a national party has a wider outlook than the regional parties. National parties focus much (more) on development issues," he reasoned.

Azad's comments are in contrast to UP Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had said Uma Bharti's barbs against Rahul Gandhi were "not in good taste" and that the people of UP would never accept an "imported leader".

Hitting back at Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that Bharti was contesting from UP though she was from MP, Bharti said yesterday that the young leader should remember that his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi is from Italy and has been accepted in India.

"Sonia Gandhi came from Italy and has been accepted in India. If Italy's Sonia was accepted in India, I am only from Madhya Pradesh. Rahul should remember the background of his mother. Only then he should comment on his bua (aunt)," she said taking a swipe at Rahul.

Asked about the future of Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi's future in the party, Azad said, "Why are you in a hurry. The poor man is just out of the jail. Let us see... These are the things to be seen in the future."

Kalmadi, an accused in the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, was released from Tihar jail on bail yesterday after spending nine months in imprisonment.


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