New Delhi | Describing as ‘baseless’ allegations by former Union Minister Jayanthi Natarajan who today quit the Congress alleging interference from the top leadership when she was environment minister in the Manmohan Singh government, the party today said Ms Natarajan’s statement was uncalled for.
Party general secretary Digvijay Singh said, It is wrong for her (Jayanthi Natarajan) to say that Soniaji or Rahulji ever interfered in the functioning of the UPA government. The ministers were free to take decisions. Rahul would be the last person to interfere. If he wanted, he could have been a minister. So why should he interfere in work of a minister.
Mr Singh told reporters here that the Congress had given her full support and her ‘accusations were really uncalled for’. I think this kind of allegation from someone who got everything she wanted in her life till now from the Congress party…this kind of allegation is really uncalled for, he added.
Another party spokesperson P C Chacko said, Everybody is free to resign from the party for personal reasons. No one is stopping them. But making such wild accusations is unfair.
Senior Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said, As long as you are a minister, holding positions, Congress is good, Soniaji is good, Rahulji is good. The moment you have been asked to resign, Congress is bad, Soniaji is bad, Rahulji is bad. What is this?
Another spokesperson Shobha Oza said, These are baseless allegations. She (Jayanthi Natarajan) has no facts. Why did she keep quiet then? Ms Oza added that Ms Natarajan was making such allegations under pressure from the government. Jayanthi Natarjan speaking up now clearly shows that she has been promised some kind of benefit from another party.
Ms Natarajan announced her resignation from the Tamil Nadu Congress Trust and primary membership of the party.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai after quitting the party, Ms Natarajan alleged the interference from the office of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi when she was holding the environment portfolio. Consequently, she rejected big-ticket projects despite pressure from Cabinet colleagues seeking approval.
She also alleged that negative stories had been planted against her by her own party to make her a scapegoat. Ms Natarajan alleged that she was asked by the Congress to launch an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Snoopgate.
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