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Plea seeks Sonia's disqualification as MP
February 11, 2008 21:10 IST
A title given to Congress President Sonia Gandhi [Images] during her visit to Belgium in 2006 has become a matter of controversy, with the Election Commission on Monday deliberating on a complaint seeking her disqualification as Lok Sabha MP over it.
The full Commission had a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, in which the issue came up for discussion, sources said.
There was no official word on the issue from the Commission amid indications that no decision has been reached on the matter so far.
Sonia was conferred the `Order of Leopold', the second highest civilian award in Belgium, and an honorary doctorate by the Belgian government during her visit to the European country in November, 2006.
The petitioner, an advocate from Kerala [Images], contended the receiving the Belgian honour amounted to owing allegiance to the Constitution of that country.
The Congress, however, dismissed as "laughable" the complaint, with party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi saying there was no basis for the petition.
"It is a laughable complaint. It has no basis," he said.
Singhvi said the complaint against Sonia was akin to asking the South African government to exile or disqualify its leader Nelson Mandela for being awarded the Bharat Ratna.
"The Election Commission will use its discretion and reach an appropriate decision in the matter," he said.
The complaint against Gandhi, sent to the President, was forwarded to the Commission seven months ago.