New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi finally broke her silence on Tuesday to exhort her party members to fight the "intemperate criticism and negative politics" of BJP over the coal blocks allocations.
"We need to fight the intemperate criticism and negative politics of BJP. They are holding Parliament to ransom," she told party members at an early morning meet.
She further condemned the Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj for her choice of words at a press conference she held along with party colleague Arun Jaitley.
Attacking the Congress over the CAG report on coal blocks allocations, Sushma had said, "Inhe mota maal mila hai (The Congress has earned massive profits on the deal). Value of coal was at an all-time high. Everyone was desperate to get their hands on the mines. The Congress didn't want to adopt a direct route for allocation, they played a cunning game."
Sonia said, "This is the handiwork of the BJP which shows scant respect for democracy. We must effectively go out and rebut and repel them in the upcoming elections."
"BJP's belief is our way or no way. We are prepared to debate. But blackmail has become the political bread and butter of the BJP," she added.
On Assam and Mumbai violence
Condemning the violence in Assam and Mumbai, Sonia said, "No government can tolerate this. It is troublesome and the guilty have to be brought to book. They have misused the social media for their hate campaign."
Don't need lessons from Sonia: BJP
Hitting back at the Congress, the BJP said that Sonia Gandhi should refrain from talking about negative politics as Congress itself had used words like 'coffin chor' (thief) for George Fernandes.
"We don't need lessons from her," said Rudy.
Venkaiah Naidu said, "Congress should stop its doublespeak."
"Why didn't Sonia find those comments of Congress leaders undemocratic where they called George Fernandes 'coffin chor'?" he asked.
The leaders added that the BJP was firm on its stand and would not let Parliament function. "We won't let the House function. We appeal to all parties to join us in this," said Naidu.Full text of Sonia Gandhi's statement at the Congress Parliamentary Party meet
Sonia Gandhi Speech