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Nov 09, 2011 at 06:31pm IST

Sonia Gandhi takes on Team Anna over Lokpal Bill

New Delhi: Taking on Team Anna, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday broke her silence on the issue of graft, saying corruption cannot be fought by speeches.

In her speech which was read out to the crowd in Uttrakhand by Defence Minister AK Antony, she said that corruption cannot be fought by speeches.

In an obvious reference to Team Anna, she said, "These days there is a lot of talk about corruption. There is no doubt that corruption is a big disease and effects everyone. There should be an atmosphere against corruption. But speeches cannot end corruption."

Hitting at the brouhaha created by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, she said, "Corruption cannot end by pointing fingers at others. Everyone should introspect. It cannot end if some think their corruption is better than others. This is what is happening these days. I want to ask these people who gave RTI? Who brought transparency in public life? We did," she said.

"NAC was set up by the Prime Minister and I am in it. Lokpal Bill was first formulated here. The Prime Minister and government are committed to Lokpal, so what's the noise about?" she added.

On the issue of price rise, she said, "Inflation is a cause for concern. I understand government's compulsions but something should be done for people. Everyone can do their politics but concern for people should be most important."

Sonia could not make it to the rally as she was suffering from viral fever.

"The Congress President is suffering from fever. Her visit to Uttarakhand has been cancelled," AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

Besides addressing the rally, Gandhi was also expected to lay the foundation stone for the much-delayed Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project at Gauchar in Chamoli district.

Congress sources said that Gandhi's speech would be read out at the rally venue at Gauchar.

Gandhi addressing the rally was expected to be a virtual launch of the party's campaign for the upcoming assembly election in the state.

The UPA Chairperson had undergone surgery abroad in August for an undisclosed ailment.

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