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Rahul Gandhi poured cold water on PM's initiative: Sushma Swaraj

Saturday August 27, 2011 01:34:05 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj Saturday said Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's unscheduled intervention in the Lok Sabha suggesting an autonomous Lokpal "poured cold water on" the statesmanship shown by the prime minister in breaking the logjam.

She also charged that house norms were relaxed to allow Gandhi to make a long speech.

"Rahul Gandhi poured cold water on the statesmanship and initiative by the prime minister," Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the House, said while participating in the debate on the Lokpal issue.

She also charged that Rahul Gandhi was allowed to make a long speech during the question hour, which was contrary to the norms. "Zero hour is meant to raise an issue, not to deliver sermons. Why were norms relaxed for Rahul?" she asked.

Her comments triggered objections from the treasury benches, but Speaker Meira Kumar chose not to comment.

Sushma Swaraj spoke after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee initiated the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Lokpal bill by recounting the chain of events since Anna Hazare first went on fast at the Jantar Mantar here April 9.

In an unscheduled intervention during zero hour Friday, Rahul Gandhi said that a Lokpal bill could not alone end corruption and suggested an autonomous Lokpal on the lines of the Election Commission.

"Zero hour allows three minutes to raise an issue, Rahul took 15 minutes," Sushma Swaraj said.

Taking potshots at the Congress party, Swaraj said: "The PM speaks rarely, and even when he does, no one listens (to him)."




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