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Congress slams Smriti Irani and says ‘will be ready with answers and speech’ soon

Renuka Chowdhary

New Delhi, Aug 7 : Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary on Friday hit back at Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani for taunting her party’s top brass over their comments on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying the grand old party has never refrained from discussions and would speak at length in Parliament in due course of time.

“Anyone can give a speech. We will prepare the speech. Let them speak. And, we haven’t refrained from speaking in Parliament. Just wait for some time and we will be ready with the answers and the speech,” Chowdhary told ANI.

In an apparent reference to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of Swaraj, Irani earlier said that it was easy for people of the Congress Party to give a byte here and there, rather than to speak ex-tempore for almost an hour without the help of a prepared script in Parliament as Sushma Swaraj had done.

Irani said the External Affairs Minister’s statement in the Lok Sabha on the Lalit Modi controversy is itself a proof that it is a challenge posted before the opposition parties to bring any evidence if they can.

Meanwhile, Chowdhary also defended the youth Congress workers move to take their shirts off in protest against the suspension of 25 MPs from the Lok Sabha.

“They are silencing the voice of democracy in the Parliament. The elected MPs are being suspended for speaking in the Lok Sabha. Is that not a disgrace to the Parliament?” she asked.

The Congress president today criticised Swaraj over her clarification on the controversy, saying she is an expert at ‘ theatrics’. The Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also echoed similar sentiments and accused Swaraj of keeping the External Affairs Ministry in dark on the issue. Rahul also hit back at Swaraj over her ’emotional’ clarification, saying the Congress president would have never done the same.

Swaraj had made an emotional statement in the Lok Sabha yesterday, saying she had helped Lalit Modi’s cancer-stricken wife and not the IPL chief.

“I want to know what Soniaji would have done if she was in my place? Would she have let the woman die?” she asked the Congress president.

The External Affairs Minister had also insisted that she had made “no request or recommendation” to the UK Government for Lalit Modi’s travel documents but had left the decision to Britain. (ANI)