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Author of political storm seeks apology from opposition

Written by: Staff
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Kanpur, March 24 (UNI) All India Congress Committee member Madan Mohan Shukla, who authored the political storm over the issue of MPs holding 'offices of profit', today demanded an unconditional apology from opposition parties for ''unnecessarily'' dragging the name of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the matter.

Talking to UNI here, Mr Shukla said Ms Gandhi's holding the post of chairperson of National Advisory Council (NAC) did not amount to holding an office of profit, as the post was purely a political one.

''The opposition parties including the BJP which were devoid of any public issues, have unnecessarily dragged the name of Ms Gandhi in the entire episode,'' he said.

Even after the death of her husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, she humbly said no to the Prime Minister's job, Mr Shukla said, adding, that the country was proud of this leader who did not hanker for the top post.

''Only Nehru-Gandhi family members can sacrifice such posts in the greater interest of the country,'' he added.

Mr Shukla clarified that he had lodged a complaint with the Chief Election Commissioner in June 2004 against Ms Jaya Bachchan's election to Rajya Sabha, as it was a ''personal battle''.

''While my nomination papers were rejected, the papers filed by Ms Bachchan were accepted. A writ petition filed by me is still pending in the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court in the matter.

I still maintain that Ms Bachchan was holding the post of profit and it was a right decision to disqualify her,'' he asserted.

Upset over the rejection of his candidature in the 2004 Rajya Sabha election, Mr Shukla had filed a complaint with the EC against the winner and UP Film Development Corporation chairperson Ms Bachchan, for holding an office of profit while being an MP. The complaint proved valid, Ms Bachchan was disqualified and a floodgate of complaints against MPs -- among them Ms Gandhi -- was opened.

UNI KSP ARS LR BD2028

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