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Congress issues 'ultimatum' to Pawar
October 12, 2003 03:39 IST
The Congress Party on Saturday issued an 'ultimatum' to the Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar for raising the issue of the foreign origin of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
"The Congress has granted a week's period for the NCP chief to reconsider his stand or face dire consequences," MPCC chief Ranjit Deshmukh told reporters in an urgently convened press conference in Mumbai.
"If Pawar did not change his stand towards the Congress chief, a harsh decision will be taken after seven days, including snapping of relations with NCP in the state," Deshmukh said.
He said that this stand was taken unanimously by the AICC general secretary Vyalar Ravi and other senior leaders of the MPCC.
"It is time that Pawar stopped raising the issue as his party itself was formed only on the Sonia's foreign origin issue," Deshmukh said.
When asked about the nature of action that would be taken after seven days, he firmly said, "The decision will be taken only after seven days depending on Pawar's response."
The Congress will also decide after seven days whether they want to be a part of the Democratic Front government of which the NCP is also an important constituent.
"Pawar has no right to talk about Sonia's origin and he has the habit of taking advantage of positions he has held. He is simply an opportunist," he alleged.
"Pawar, who is talking about Sonia's origin again and again, was with Congress for almost one and half years after she became the AICC president," Deshmukh said.
Deshmukh said on the one hand Pawar was attacking Sonia's origin and on the other he wanted to take advantage of his relations with the Congress.
"He eyed a Cabinet post even when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed his government and currently he is enjoying a Cabinet rank as the chairman of the disaster management cell," Deshmukh said.