Monday, November 29, 1999

BJP trying to hide truth in Chawla-Sahni spat: Cong

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Chandigarh, May 16 (PTI) With a verbal spat going on between two BJP heavywights in Punjab, the main opposition Congress today accused the party, a constituent of the ruling alliance in the state, of "hiding the truth" as it could hurt the party''s interests. "Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) Jagdish Raj Sahni first levelled corruption charges against party colleague and Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawala followed by severe accusations against Punjab BJP in-charge Balbir Punj, Industry Minister Manoranjan Kalia and former party chief Rajinder is a grave matter and the people of the state have the right to know the truth," Punjab Congress spokesman Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa said here. Bajwa charged the BJP with trying to hide the truth behind Sahni''s outburst against senior leaders, including party Chief Nitin Gadkari, as it might hurt the party''s political interests. Alleging that Sahni''s recent outburts against his own leaders had exposed the party, he said it was an indication that the BJP has no control over its own men. Demanding that the Punjab unit of the BJP should come clean on Sahni''s accusations, Bajwa said Chawla should quit her ministerial post till the air is cleared over the issue. Meanwhile, state Congress President Mohinder Singh Kaypee said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was blaming the party for vitiating the atmopsphere in the state to cover up "his own incompetence, inefficiency and misdeeds." "History is witness to the fact that it was the Congress which confronted terrorism head on and restored peace in the state after over a decade of turbulence during which Badal signed Khalistan resolutions, eulogised terrorists and attended their ''bhog'' ceremonies (post-death rituals)," Kaypee said in a statement here. By holding the Congress responsible for vitiating the atmosphere in Punjab, Badal is just trying to cover up "his own incompetence, inefficiency and misdeeds," he said. He said it was the "non-governance" flowing from incompetence and "stinking corruption" which was breeding resentment against this government.

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