Congress denies Rahul’s comment on coalition ‘compulsions’

Congress denies Rahul’s comment on coalition ‘compulsions’

New Delhi: Owing to media reports regarding Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s alleged comment on coalition “compulsions" regarding curbing inflation, the party on Wednesday made its stand clear denying any such comment by him. The Congress party stand was reiterated by alliance Nationalist Congress Party.

"Let me make it clear that there are a set of completely wrong and erroneous reports are in the press. Rahul Gandhi never said anything of this sort. Rahul Gandhi in an answer to a closed door meeting not open to the press, discussed price-rise, steps taken by state and central no point did he refer to any coalition partner, or NCP, nor Sharad Pawar. He is being misquoted and misreported," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in a press conference on Wednesday He also added that the reports are based on the "purported talks with purported students" that were present at the interaction session.

Reacting to Gandhi’s alleged statement, NCP leader Tariq Anwar had said that it was not correct to blame a coalition partner and NCP General Secretary and spokesman D P Tripathi had termed it “unfortunate". The NCP later took a flip-flop stand on the issue. NCP leader and civil aviation minister Praful Patel said, “I don’t think Rahul Gandhi’s statement should be read in the context of current coalition as he was replying to a general question asked to him by students. He has not criticised any party in particular," Patel said.

Gandhi had earlier alleged made a statement on Tuesday at a student interaction meet in Lucknow defended the Congress-led government for its failure to control the spiraling prices by saying that it was under coalition “compulsions."

Reacting on Gandhi’s alleged comments, Bharatiya Janata Party called it a "lack of leadership". Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP spokesperson said, "Rahul Gandhi, the General Secretary of the Congress Party has stated that prices are remaining uncontrolled due to the compulsions of coalition politics. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee also lead a coalition government but prices were kept well under control. There is a lack of leadership in the UPA-II and that is seen in their failure to control prices of essential goods, now for over 22 months."

PTI contributed to the story.