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'Why the drama, Sushma? Just resign?'

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | May 17, 2004 16:12 IST

Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi on Monday told senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and outgoing Union Parliamentary Affairs Sushma Swaraj to stop the posturing and quit her Rajya Sabha seat if she did not like the idea of seeing Sonia Gandhi as prime minister.

And while she is at it, Swaraj could also persuade her like-minded colleagues in the BJP to quit their seats in Parliament, Rabri Devi suggested.

Swaraj had on Saturday announced she and her husband Swaraj Kaushal would resign from Parliament if Gandhi became prime minister. She also reportedly plans to shave her head.

"People are with Sonia Gandhi. People voted for the Congress-led secular alliance to see Sonia Gandhi as prime minister. If Sushma is so much against Sonia Gandhi, why does she not resign from Parliament? Why is she is resorting to dramatics? She should mobilise her like-minded BJP parliamentarians too to resign," Rabri Devi said.

She described the BJP's campaign against Gandhi's foreign origin as an insult to women's rights. "BJP hurts all women when it questions the integrity, loyalty and love for her husband's country," she said.

If the BJP was so serious about this issue, why did they not stop Gandhi from entering Parliament and becoming leader of the opposition, she asked.

She also took senior BJP leader K N Govindacharya to task for his announcement of plans to launch a nationwide 'self-respect' movement, saying the foreign origin issue is no longer relevant.
Emerging in the public eye after a long hiatus, Govindacharya has said that it would be nothing less than a calamity if Gandhi were to become the prime minister.

"Where were Sushma and Govindacharya when Gujarat was burning and hundreds of people were killed," Rabri Devi asked. "What about Tehelka, Kargil? Were they sleeping then?"

She said Gandhi is the daughter-in-law of India. Majority of Indian voters had expressed full faith in Gandhi by giving her the mandate to rule the nation.

Rabri Devi's Rashtriya Janata Dal, led by her husband Laloo Prasad Yadav, is one of the Congress' staunchest allies. Together, they have won 26 of 37 Lok Sabha seats where the results of the polls held in Bihar were announced. Re-polling has been ordered in three seats. Besides, the RJD has won two seats in neighbouring Jharkhand.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti too has said: "The day Gandhi becomes the prime minister will be the darkest day in the history of this country."

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India Votes 2004

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