Posts tagged ‘Sonia Gandhi’

August 5, 2011

Sonia Gandhi recovering after surgery: Congress Delhi: Putting an end to the speculations about party chief Sonia Gandhi’s health, Congress on Friday informed that the leader underwent a surgery in US and is currently in ICU. Her condition is stable, the party further added.

In a brief statement issued by the party, the ailment of Gandhi was not disclosed.

The surgeon, who operated upon the 64 year old leader said, “The operation was successful and she is recuperating in ICU.”

The statement by Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, however, did not disclose what was the surgery and the hospital and the country where it was performed.

Her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and son-in-law Robert Vadra are with Gandhi, the party said.

Gandhi’s family has requested that her privacy be respected.

“This is a personal matter that pertains to her health and medical treatment. Her family requests that her privacy be respected,” Dwivedi said.

Rahul Gandhi is expected to return to India as he has been named in the four-member core group that will look after the party in Sonia’s absence.

The fact that he has been named in the caretaker group for the Congress is being read by many as a response to the recent expression within the party for Rahul to play a larger role.

Sonia Gandhi recovering after surgery: Congress Earlier, Sonia Gandhi, in a written statement read out by Dwivedi, said during her absence, a four-member panel including Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister AK Antony, her long-time political secretary, Ahmed Patel, and party general secretary Dwivedi will be running the party.

Congress sources said she had an abdomen-related ailment amid speculation that Sonia Gandhi was suffering from cancer. Dwivedi, however, said that it was not cancer, but an ailment that required surgery.

Meanwhile, good wishes poured in for Sonia from across the political spectrum.

“We realise how much we need her, and how much we miss her. We want her to be back as soon as possible,” said Congress leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ambika Soni.

“I and my party wish her good luck. We want her to get well soon and come back,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said.


June 20, 2011

Govt, Team Anna on the edge; to meet today

Anna HazareNew Delhi: A day before the next meeting of the Lokpal Bill joint drafting panel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday replied to reformer Anna Hazare’s letter accusing her party of maligning his image and said that her stand on the issue has not changed.

“As far as the questions raised by you in the letter, I have already clarified my stand in the previous letter dated April 19,” Gandhi said in her reply.

Gandhi had written to Hazare on April 19 saying that she was not in favour of smear campaigns, but did not offer any assurance on reining in her party colleagues from speaking on the Lokpal Bill.

“I had received your letter on June 09, but as I was out of station, I could not reply. Meanwhile, you have made the letter public. I will get information in this regard,” she added in her letter on Sunday.

Hazare had written to Gandhi on June 09 expressing displeasure over the Congress calling him the face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Gandhi’s reply comes as the 10-member panel is scheduled to have its final meetings on Monday and Tuesday before submitting the draft on June 30.

Differences between the government and the civil society members have been growing with the June 15 meeting deciding to submit the draft bill with the areas of disagreement specifically mentioned.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the panel co-chair, on Sunday held discussions with the ministerial members Kapil Sibal, Salman Khursheed and Veerappa Moily about the strategy in the meetings in the next two days. The fifth member, P Chidambaram, was not present.

In a related development, Karnataka Lok Ayukta (ombudsman) and a civil society member on the panel, N Santosh Hegde, said in Mangalore that he did not have any rift with the Anna Hazare team and that he would attend the meetings.

Hegde said he will not be able to attend the Monday meeting due to his prior commitments, but would attend the one on Tuesday.

Hegde also clarified that his comment on Anna Hazare’s hunger strike was just a suggestion that he made, which was being mistaken as a rift.

He had urged Hazare on Saturday not to fast again if the Lokpal bill is not passed by August 15, and instead tour the country and meet people over the issue.

“I personally felt that it will be better if Anna Hazare goes around India and mobilises people’s support against corruption. If Anna goes on a strike, I will fully support him,” Hegde added.

Prashant Bhushan, another civil society member in the bill drafting panel, has said that the country needs an independent body to fight graft.

“We need an independent body to go into corruption as well as misconduct and misbehaviour by the judiciary. But that body must be credible and should be independent of the government as well as of the judiciary. The Lokpal is precisely such a body,” said Bhushan in New Delhi.

Prashant Bhushan’s father, former law minister Shanti Bhushan, is the drafting panel’s co-chair. The other civil society representatives are Anna Hazare, Santosh Hegde and rights activist Arvind Kejriwal.

(source: zeenews)

June 20, 2011

Divided Lokpal panel to meet today


New Delhi: Amid war of words between the representatives of government and civil society, the two sides will meet on Monday in a last ditch effort to iron out their differences on the Lokpal Bill.

Following today’s meeting, the committee would also be meeting tomorrow, to try and iron out the differences and complete the drafting process by June 30.

While the government has virtually ruled out bringing the post of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the anti-corruption watchdog, Congress Core Group has favoured convening an all-party meeting on the issue of inclusion of the PM.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal , a member of the Joint Drafting Committee, said the view within the government is that Prime Minister should not be included within the ambit of Lokpal. He, however, said once the PM demits office, he should not be “exonerated” from prosecution.

A final view on the ticklish issue will be taken by the Union Cabinet once the draft bill reaches it after consultation with political parties, he said.

A government representative of the Committee said the inclusion of judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament in the proposed legislation was “not possible” as it would amount to amending the Constitution.

“The Committee’s mandate is clear and that is to enact legislation. The members led by Anna Hazare are also clear about the mandate…it is in the notification,” he said.

But the member insisted that the government side will try its best to convince the civil society members about its “stand and compulsions”.

However, the Anna Hazare team dubbed the argument to keep the Prime Minister out of Lokpal’s ambit as “absurd”.

Yesterday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi replied to Anna Hazare’s letter accusing her party of maligning his image and said that her stand on the issue has not changed.

“As far as the questions raised by you in the letter, I have already clarified my stand in the previous letter dated April 19,” Gandhi said in her reply.

Gandhi had written to Hazare on April 19 saying that she was not in favour of smear campaigns.

Upon his arrival in Delhi yesterday, Hazare said he would have to first go through Congress president’s reply to his letter before reacting on it.

“I haven’t read the letter yet. We will read the letter and then react,” he said.

He also announced that civil society representatives would decide whether he should first undertake a nationwide tour against corruption before undertaking a fast if a strong Lokpal Bill was not ready.

Hazare’s comments on his proposed fast from August 16 came against the backdrop of the civil society representative and Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde saying it would be better for him if he went around the country and mobilised support against corruption.

Hedge is not taking part in today’s meeting. Speaking to a new s channel today, he said that he will be coming to Delhi today evening and will be part of tomorrow’s meeting to ‘show solidarity’.