Malhotra should remove gag order imposed on him by BJP: Sibal

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) Poking fun at BJP's Delhi Chief Ministerial candidate Vijay Kumar Malhotra that he has already fled the ''electoral battleground'' much before the final war of the Delhi Assembly elections, Union Minister and Chandni Chowk MP Kapil Sibal today urged the south Delhi MP to not to avoid debate with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and remove the ''gag order'' slapped on him by his party.

''I strongly feel that Mr Malhotra has already fled the field much before the elections. He is avoiding debate with Ms Dikshit because I think his party has imposed a gag order on him, banning him from getting into discussion with her,'' he told a media briefing.

''Mr Malhotra is well aware that whenever he gets into debate with Ms Dikshit, his party's votes will come tumbling down because the Delhi CM has done so much development work that any mention of it will leave him speechless and dumb-founded,'' he mocked.

''Only when does he debate with Ms Dikshit, will the people of the national capital get to know what Mr Malhotra has in his heart which he has not spoken out. People want to know his views on development and on the city. He should hear his inner voice. He is a nice person and fellow parliamentarian, I want him to speak out,'' he added.

Mr Sibal said even in the US before the presidential elections, people of the country heard President-elect Barack Obama and his rival John McCain debating it out and they chose whom they found suitable for the top job in the country. ''So, why not the same thing can be repeated in Delhi, why deprive the Delhi people of a healthy debate?'' he wondered.

The saffron party kept harping about developmental issues everywhere in the country whenever elections were due, but when it came to Delhi they were tight-lipped, he alleged. ''Why these double standards?'' ''Ms Dikshit has carried out so much development work during her past two tenures and she will do more than that during her third stint as Delhi CM, which I am sure will definitely happen,'' Mr Sibal promised.

Heaping lavish praises on Ms Dikshit, Mr Sibal said, ''The kind of development she has carried out is all there for you to see. She even won a UN award for the Bhagidari scheme in which 2,100 citizen groups and four million people were involved. On the one hand, there is a government of inclusive agenda and on the other, there is a party of destructive agenda. I think people will make the right choice on D-Day and would overwhelmingly vote for the Congress.'' UNI RL PK BD1758

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