Rahul misquoted: CongressBy IANS
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
NEW DELHI - The Congress Wednesday said reports about party general secretary Rahul Gandhi blaming coalition constraints for the rising prices were wrong and he did not refer to an ally of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
Gandhi made the remarks during his interaction with students in Lucknow Tuesday.
Responding to questions about Gandhi’s remarks, which drew a sharp reaction from UPA’s coalition partner Nationalist Congress Party, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Gandhi did not refer to any coalition partner or to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
At no point did he refer to any coalition partner or to Mr. Pawar. He has been misquoted, Singhvi said.
He said the reports were wrong and erroneous.
Singhvi said Gandhi discussed price rise during the closed-door interaction with students in Lucknow and pointed to steps taken by the central government and the responsibility of state governments.
He said the media was allowed at the venue of the interaction for less than three minutes.
Singhvi said the party will write to the publications which had carried the report to issue a clarification.
Earlier in the day, Pawar’s NCP made its unhappiness known over the remarks attributed to Gandhi, saying that any statement from a leader of the Congress should reflect humility and not arrogance.
“The Congress is not only the leading but also the primary party (of the ruling coalition) and any statement by a member of the leading party should not reflect arrogance,” said NCP leader D.P. Tripathi.
Tripathi said he had always admired Gandhi but was saddened by his remarks. The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also sought to target Gandhi over remarks attributed to him.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said Gandhi’s statement shows his lack of knowledge. What has coalition government to do with price control”.