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Government quip on 'theatrics' jibe: Sonia can't speak sans paper

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Aug 7 (IANS): Sonia Gandhi's "theatrics" jibe at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday evoked a sharp response from three union ministers, with one of them observing that the Congress president can't even deliver a speech without reading from a paper.

Sonia Gandhi dubbed Sushma Swaraj's Lok Sabha statement on Thursday on the Lalit Modi controversy as "theatrics", as the minister had wondered what the Congress president would have done in her place.

"Sushma-ji's speech is a challenge for the opposition to get proof against her. It's easy for Sonia-ji to give a byte, but it is not easy for her to give a speech without reading it out from a paper," Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said.

"Do they want to say that parliament is a stage? Calling an elected leader's speech theatrics is disrespecting the mandate of the people," the union minister said.

Similar views were expressed by Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who said: "Those who cannot come to parliament, cannot speak in parliament and will do this outside parliament... For someone who can speak and debate in parliament... this is the difference between Sushma-ji and Sonia Gandhi."

Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress should have learnt a lesson from the public mandate which was already against them.

"People have given such a huge mandate against them, but still if the Congress doesn't learn the lesson, then I am afraid to say that their future is dark," Prasad said.

"She (Sushma Swaraj) is an expert at indulging in theatrical politics," Sonia Gandhi had said before joining her party colleagues on Friday in protesting the suspension of 25 Congress MPs by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

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