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Congress accuses Advani of distorting facts

Tara Shankar Sahay in Delhi | November 21, 2003 00:03 IST

The Congress party on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of deliberately distorting facts to tarnish party chief Sonia Gandhi's image.

Responding to Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani's allegation that Gandhi violated the Election Commission's code of conduct by using a helicopter on August 10 to fly from Chennai to Sriperambudur, party spokesman Anand Sharma said the Congress chief used the chopper due to security measures imposed by the Special Protection Group.

"It was a national occasion, a function organised by the (central) ministry of urban development, " he said referring to the function at Sriperambudur. He said that Sonia did not go there for electioneering 'but as Rajiv Gandhi's wife and widow'.

Queried about the Congress response to the EC on the alleged violation of the code of conduct, the spokesman said the reply had been given in two parts.

The Congress leadership had assured the EC that it had the highest regard for the electoral code of conduct and it had already written to the state units of the Congress states going to the polls in this context, Sharma said.

Sharma also rejected the BJP allegation that the Congress was resisting a CBI probe into the multicrore fake stamp papers scam.

Sharma quoted the Bombay high court chief justice to say that the CBI itself had declined the probe.

"The CBI and the Centre should have apprised the Bombay high court (of this fact)," Sharma said.


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