Congress accuses Natwar Singh of 'distortion' of facts

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New Delhi, July 31: Congress on Thursday accused former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh of making "allegations" and "distorting" facts in the wake his comments on the issue of Sonia Gandhi's refusal to take up the job of Prime Minister in 2004.

Reminding the once Gandhi family loyalist that he himself had tried to join BJP at one point of time after being expelled from Congress and that his son is currently a BJP MLA from Rajasthan, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "We condemn all insinuation, allegations and inuendos".

Singhvi, at the same time, refrained from rejecting the contention of Singh that Rahul Gandhi had vehemently opposed his mother Sonia taking up the Prime Minister's post fearing that she would be killed like his father and grandmother if she accepted it.

"I am not doing it piecemeal. We deny all allegations and inuendos....It is unfortunate that a person who rose to occupy a top post due to Congress and was made aware of many sensitive facts, misuses and distorts those facts after being removed and publishes baseless" things," Singhvi said.

He said that "spreading such sensationlism for shoring up the sale of a book" cannot be approved. Asked whether Congress could file a case of defamation against Natwar Singh, Singhvi said, "Let us see" but added nothing like this has been decided as yet. Pressed further, he said, "Political issues are dealt politically and legal issues are dealt legally."

A party leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that such issues do not have a long life and they wear out with the passage of time and, hence, it makes no sense to give them a longer life by taking the legal recourse of defamation. He said that what Natwar Singh did is "betrayal" after having enjoyed confidence.

"The truth is that Sonia Gandhi was herself very reluctant and uncomfortable about accepting the Prime Minister's post. Rahul's Opposition was not the only thing in that context," he said.

He said that he was not aware whether Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi went to meet Natwar Singh to request him not to publish certain things, but even "if it is correct, then it is double betrayal by Singh".

Asked about Singh's allegations that files went to Sonia Gandhi from the PMO, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, speaking separately, said that he himself had been a Union Minister and "Sonia Gandhi never called for any such thing from me. There is no question of files being sent to her."


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