Free Press Journal

Didn’t go to town when Vajpayee’s niece joined us: Congress


Kolkata: Hitting back at the BJP for showcasing its new recruit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s half brotherthe Congress Saturday said it did not go to town when former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece quit the BJP and joined its fold.

“I don’t think this is something you need to hawk politically. But since the BJP is trying to hawk it politically, let me say that we didn’t got to town when Vajpayee’s niece joined us,” Congress national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here.

“…Vajpayee’s niece was much more in active politics, and was a sitting MLA,” he added.

Facing media queries a day after Singh’s half-brother Daljeet Singh Kohli joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Amritsar, Singhvi spoke about Karuna Shukla who crossed over to the Congress two months back.

Shukla ended her 32-year association with the BJP last year and joined the Congress in February slamming Modi and alleging that a “special group” now occupied the BJP with the end of the Vajpayee era.

In a barb at the functioning of the PMO when Vajpayee was the prime minister (1998-2004), he said Manmohan Singh had always kept relatives at a “bargepole distance”.

“As far as we know, the prime minister of this country has been exemplary – and let me be very clear, totally unlike the previous PMO, that is the PMO of 1999-2004 – in keeping every relative at a bargepole distance,” he said.