New Delhi: The Congress has hit back at Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj for her comments against Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Referring to Sushma Swaraj's comments, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said the Congress does not expect Sushma to apologise since the realisation needs to come from within.
"We don't expect Sushma to apologise because we can't expect anything from a party that doesn't believe in Parliamentary democracy," Sibal said. Sibal also called Sushma's comments in the Lok Sabha a 'breach of trust'. "It was a breach of trust by the Opposition. They can't speak on this topic if they were supposed to speak on the Finance Bill," Sibal said.
Congress leaders say Sonia is upset after Sushma Swaraj accused her of subverting democratic institutions. Criticising Sushma for her comments on Sonia, MoS PMO V Narayanasamy said, "The Leader of the Opposition is twisting facts. The Congress Chairperson was upset with the way she made statements. She did not instigate the Congress MPs to interrupt Sushma Swaraj's speech."
The Samajwadi Party has also criticised Sushma for her comments. Sp leader Naresh Agarwal said, "There are important issues we want to discuss. But the Congress and the BJP are being stubborn about this. Why isn't Sushma Swaraj letting Parliament function? We need to debate issues."
But the Bharatiya Janata Party defended Sushma. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, "If she (Sonia Gandhi) would have given 10 minutes to Sushmaji, then heavens would not have fallen. The Speaker committed the ultimate disregard of understanding by switching off the Leader of the Opposition's microphone."
Earlier on Tuesday, Sushma Swaraj took on Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the pandemonium in Parliament and accused the duo of going all out to disrupt her speech. In a scathing attack on Meira Kumar and Sonia Gandhi, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha said that her party will boycott all meetings called by the Speaker and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister.
Sushma accused Sonia of inciting Congress MPs and ministers to disrupt her speech and alleged that the Speaker acted in a partisan manner and did nothing to stop the ruling party leaders. She went on to accuse the Speaker and the Congress-led UPA government of not honouring the deal they reached on Monday on allowing her and other Opposition members to speak.
"Sonia Gandhi does not believe in democratic institutions of the country. Sonia Gandhi herself created a situation in Lok Sabha and I was not allowed to speak. She instigated her Congress MPs and ministers against me. The Speaker too did nothing to stop it and acted like Congress's hand," said the BJP leader.
"The BJP has decided to boycott any meetings called by the Speaker. We will also not participate in any meeting called by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister," she added.