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Home > News > PTI

Congress replies to EC notice over Sonia's 'merchant of death' remark

December 11, 2007 14:53 IST
Last Updated: December 11, 2007 16:31 IST

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] on Tuesday filed her reply to the Election Commission's notice on her 'merchants of death' remark. It is not immediately known as to what she has stated in her reply.

The Congress had on Monday suggested that Gandhi did not name Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], but had the entire state administration in mind when she made those remarks.

Declining to reveal the contents of the reply, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "We have filed an appropriate and detailed response. We are certainly not sharing it with the press".

Singhvi, as a senior advocate, was authorised by Gandhi to file the reply. "All I can assure you is that detailed reasons have been given to demonstrate that there is absolutely no question of violation of the model code of conduct".

The All-India Congress Committee has been dismissing as 'outrageous' equating of Gandhi with Modi and has insisted that the model code of conduct had not been violated by the party as she had only pointed to 'political failures of the government'.

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader V K Malhotra, who were also issued notices by the EC, also filed their replies.

In his reply, Malhotra told the Election Commission that he has not violated the model code of conduct by making a 'political point' by criticising Congress President Sonia Gandhi on her attitude towards Hindus.

He told the EC that during the course of a press briefing, 'I had only stated that there is certainly an element of bias in the public comments of Sonia Gandhi'. Even otherwise, the statement attributed to him was not correct, he claimed.

'In comparison to her outspoken criticism on minority issues, her comments on policy matters and concerns relating
to majority community are not heard,' the BJP leader said in his reply.

He said he was making a 'political point' which he was quite entitled to whenever any debate or question relating to
the policy differing standards of secularism was raised. 'In any event, my statement was made in Delhi in
Parliament House. The model code of conduct is not applicable in Delhi. Therefore, there is no question of violatio,' he said, and requested the commission to drop the proceedings.

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