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Natarajan acting at the behest of new masters: Cong

India Blooms News Service | | 30 Jan 2015, 06:00 pm
New Delhi, Jan 30(IBNS) Stung by Jayanthi Natarjan's attack on party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and her subsequent resignation, the Congress on Friday attempted a strong counter, saying her claims are 'untrue.'

"It is an 'image bacchao andolan'  (image-saving mission) by her. Not has she once orally or in writing articulated these thoughts. They are hypocritical and opportunistic," Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

"It is saddening that someone who got important ministries and remained party spokesperson for a decade has chosen to unleash a diatribe that is hypocritical and factually untrue."

He  alleged that Natarajan's claims surfaced  just before Delhi polls, suggesting a 'deeper conspiracy' and that she appeared to be acting at the behest of  "new political masters who may have got against her."

"It should be clear to her and to all that the persons and the political party and the persons at whose instance she wrote the letter are the ones who coined the phrase 'Jayanthi Tax'," he said.

 Natarajan has alleged that she was forced to step down as Environment Minister of the UPA Government in December 2013 for refusing clearances to projects that would damage the environment.

She said she followed  instructions from  Gandhi, and his mother, Sonia, to protect  the environment.  It came as a 'thunderbolt' from the blue when Rahul Gandhi, at a FICCI conference in December 2013,  virtually blamed her Ministry for the bottleneck in clearing big projects worth millions, Natarjan said.

Reproducing the contents of the letters, reported in a newspaper, the former Union Minister said her own reputation and the legacy of her illustrious family were lowered by the “ruthless, vilification campaign” launched by some in the Congress.

Singhvi also sought to brush aside Natarajan's claim that she was pressured by the party's top leadership to attack Narendra Modi, then the BJP's prime ministerial canddaite, over the controversy known as Snoop-Gate, which centred on whether the Gujarat police illegally spied on a woman architect at the behest of  Modi.
"If she had a problem, she should have resigned then," Singhvi said.