Friday, October 15, 2010


15 Oct 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Congress President Manikrao Thakre is being sacked for an utterly irresponsible talk that the state ministers collecting funds for Sonia Gandhi's "Sadbhavna Rally" in Wardha on Friday.

Though both he and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan issued statements for the damage control after a TV network caught on camera and flashed the loose talk Thakre was having with former minister Satish Chaturvedi, the leadership is not satisfied, top party sources said. Not only Thakre, but Chaturvedi will also be punished, they said.

Sonia Gandhi was more upset from Thakre's reported comment that part of the collections made for the rally has to be also sent "upar" meaning the AICC as she angrily told her aides that it puts her in a bad light and she was even thinking not to attend the rally.

The Congress President's political secretary Ahmed Patel is believed to have pulled up Thakre and told him about Sonia Gandhi's shock over his unbecoming conduct and that she wanted the rally cancelled but for persuasion that the party workers engaged in organising it should not be punished just because of his wrong act.

Instead of dismissing Thakre outright which can be misconstrued as an admission of what all he said on the camera, the party sources said he would be shown the door as part of the new state Congress chiefs to be appointed by Sonia Gandhi in a number of states that authorised her instead of electing them.

Asked if the Congress will institute a probe into incident to verify if Thakre were not framed, party spokesman Manish Tiwari asserted at the AICC Press briefing that both the Chief Minister and Thakre have already issued clarifications. "If the party takes any further action and if anything is necessary to be conveyed to the media, we will get back to you," he added.

BJP Spokesman Prakash Javadekar had a dig, saying the truth has come out that the Congress always organises rallies using money. Why blame Chief Minister Chavan or PCC President Thakre when it is a Congress tradition to bring crowds for rallies by collecting and distributing money, he quipped.


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