Khurana denies he betrayed Sangma
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Lal
Khurana today refuted the charge that he or the Bharatiya Janata Party
had betrayed Purno A Sangma, the Congress-United Front candidate for
the Lok Sabha speakership.
He was clarifying the position in view of Sangma's
allegation that he had filed his nomination only after
speaking to Khurana. The parliamentary affairs minister said
he had merely told Sangma at 0830 hours yesterday that the
Telugu Desam Party had not conveyed anything till then and therefore
there was nobody else in the fray as yet.
Khurana said soon after he was informed by Prime Minister Atal
Bihari Vajpayee that the TDP had taken a decision to field its
candidate, he had met Sangma (at the latter's request) in the
Central Hall of Parliament at 1015 hours to convey this decision.
Sangma filed his nomination papers only after 1100 hours and therefore
it was wrong of him to say that he had filed the papers at 0930 hours, and that too only after Khurana's assurance. It was not correct
that he or the BJP betrayed Sangma, Khurana said.
The parliamentary affairs minister said after his 'one-to-one' conversation with
Sangma, the former Speaker could have
withdrawn his papers even if he had signed them at 0930 hours.
Khurana said he had asked Sangma to talk to Naidu if he so wished.
Khurana said the BJP leadership would not have
filed the nomination papers if Sangma had been a consensus
candidate. The minister said it was unfair of the Congress to
announce a name and then ask the BJP to accept him as the
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