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Smt. Renuka Chowdhary and Shri Digvijaya Singh addressed the media today.
Smt. Renuka Chowdhary said you have seen the steps that we have been taking to ensure that the parliament functions smoothly and other important issues that have been taken up and addressed within the forum of parliament. Parliamentary practices have always devolved that democracy prevails within and outside the house. Since important issues have been drawing the attention of the country and the media, today we have an issue which has come in from Madhya Pradesh where the farmers have expressed the losses that they have suffered due to the un-seasonal rains which have affected the cotton crop and the farmers have been treated in a derogatory fashion by the state government as the result of which one of such farmer has lost his life partner.
Smt. Renuka Chowdhary introduced two farmers from Madhya Pradesh to the media who narrated their plight and the treatment meted out to them by the state government and distributed a copy of the memorandum submitted by Dr. Vijaylakshmi Sadho, MP Rajya Sabha to Hon'ble Prime Minister of India drawing his attention to the pathetic condition of the farmers of Madhya Pradesh and how the derogatory treatment meted out to them by the state government was driving them to commit suicide.
Smt. Renuka Chowdhary further said the Congress party has been taking these issues within and outside the house. The problems of the farmers need to be addressed so that they remain safe and on a productive curve and add to the economy of the country.
Smt. Renuka Chowdhary also said that it is unfortunate that the political opportunism over-rules the practice of democracy and personal attacks on individuals are only a sorry state of affairs. We can only pity those who believe that this is the way to establishing their own credibility.
Shri Digvijaya Singh, General Secretary, AICC introduced Shri Rashid Masood former Rajya Sabha MP who today resigned his Membership from Rajya Sabha and has joined the Congress party. Shri Digvijaya Singh welcomed his entry into the Congress party. Since Shri Rashid Masood is a grass root leader, Shri Digvijaya Singh said that consequent the joining of Shri Rashid Masood the Congress will not only be strengthened in UP alone but in the entire country. Shri Masood has a very clean image.
Shri Digvijaya Singh informed that along with Shri Rashid Masood, his nephew Shri Imran, MLA of UP Assembly has also joined the Congress party. We welcome him also into the Congress party.
Shri Rashid Masood addressed the media and assured his belief in the policies and programmes of the Congress party. He made a mention of Anna Team taking up the corruption issue against the Congress candidate in Hissar bye-election. He said it does not speak well for Anna Hazare and said it was only the congress candidate who has a des He clean image whereas the two other candidates had corruption cases already registered against them. Secondly Shri Rashid Masood narrated what drove him to join the Congress party. Shri Masood said that under the leadership of Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Hon'ble Congress President, the future of minority in India is safe. He did make a mention of reservation within the reservation. Everybody should fight the corruption but no politics should be played under the garb of fighting corruption.
On the question of alliance with Shri Ajit Singh of RLD and offering him the Cabinet berth, Shri Digvijaya Singh said Shri Ajit Singh Ji of RLD has given a letter to the Chairperson of UPA Smt. Sonia Gandhi that RLD would like to join the UPA and Hon'ble Sonia Ji has agreed to include the RLD in the UPA.
On another question on the opinion of Shri Rashid Masood on Anna Hazare, Shri Digvijaya Singh said I have been saying this from the very beginning. It only adds to my contention.
To another question whether the government made a mistake in dealing with Anna Hazare at the first place, Smt. Chowdhary said I would like to see that as not making a mistake but on a learning curve where our decency was misinterpreted and our generosity and reaching out in a totally democratic way where we said OK. If we can evolve a solution for what we are collectively looking at but the agenda appears to be otherwise. We have no regret in practicing the democratic process. It is very unfortunate that they could not retain that or access it. There is a little disappointment. We felt that when the civil society comes forward, we should be able to work together to be able to find a correct solution to the problem and not an egoistic one.
On the Lokpal Bill issue and whether the PM should be brought under its ambit, Smt. Chowdhary said the parliament in its joint wisdom will actually decide it. I think that is a fair enough system. It should be discussed there and then to evolve some consensus. Smt. Chowdhary added I would like to believe that in a coalition politics, the UPA allies have the freedom and flexibility to express their opinions. There are some things where we have to discuss and we collectively agree and move forward.
On the question of the reaction of the Congress party over the remarks of Anna Hazare, Smt. Chowdhary said it is for Anna Hazare when he claims he is above board and apolitical. Unfortunately the evidence goes to prove otherwise. He will have to answer not only the Congress party but the whole nation. There are not too many secrets in public life and that is the beauty of politics that everything is so transparent, you cannot afford to keep secrets.