Sonia's resignation - 'act of compulsion, not sacrifice'': SP

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Lucknow, Mar 24 (UNI) Describing Congress president Sonia Gandhi's resignation as a ''political drama'' the Samajwadi Party today said it was ''an act of compulsion and not sacrifice.'' ''Sonia Gandhi had no other option but to resign as the President had taken cognizance of complaints lodged against her by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for holding an office of profit,'' SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said here.

Addressing a press conference, Prof Yadav ridiculed the Congress for making Ms Gandhi a political martyr and claimed the she quit out of fear of being disqualified from the Lok Sabha member akin to former Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan.

''The Congress president fell prey to the trap meant for film actor turned MP Jaya Bachchan, as Mr Madan Mohan Shukla, the person who filed the petition against Ms Bachchan in this regard was an AICC member,'' Mr Yadav said.

Reiterating that party MP Amar Singh would not resign from the Rajya Sabha, he said ''we don't want to follow the path shown by the Congress leader''.

Prof Yadav, however, admitted that Mr Singh had written to Union Law Minister Hans Raj Bharadwaj on March 20 last to include three posts of profit -- UP Development Council, UP Film Development Council and UP Irrigation and Flood Control Commission -- in the proposed Bill on MPs holding offices of profit.

''Mr Singh never asked the centre to go for an ordinance to exempt the parliament members from disqualification and always supported a bill in this regard,'' Mr Yadav added.

Taking strong exception to the protest by the Congressmen after Ms Gandhi's resignation, he said it was a reminder of the autocratic behaviour of the Gandhi family.'' It does not go well with the democratic norms and it reminds one of the Hitler regime''.

Commenting on SP's role over the proposed all party meeting to be convened by Prime minister Manmohan Singh soon over the proposed bill, he said the parliamentary board of the party will decide on the action at the appropriate time.

Prof Yadav also criticised the media for maintaining the resignation of Ms Gandhi was a set back for the opposition parties, particularly the Samajwadi Party.

''It was a win for the opposition rather than a set back as Ms Gandhi had to resign following the pressure mounted on her '', Prof Yadav claimed.

UNI MB ARS LS RK1445

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