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Cong need not celebrate: Sushma

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj maintained that “the Congress need not celebrate because there is a huge difference between the conviction of Sidhu and of Soren. Sidhu’s case related to culpable homicide not amounting to murder while Soren has been convicted of murder conspiracy,” she said.

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Now, Cong in attack mode
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
Having been at the receiving end so far, it was the Congress’s turn to go into attack mode as it lashed out at the BJP today for defending Navjot Singh Sidhu, convicted in a murder case.

Describing it as a strange spectacle, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi condemned the BJP for extending support to a convicted person and presenting him as a victim.

“It is the same party which is constantly lecturing us on morality and probity in public life....they are making a virtue out of a crime,” said Mr Singhvi, adding that it would take more than Sidhuism to absolve him.

Mr Singhvi also drew attention to Mr Sidhu’s resignation letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker in which he said he had been charged in an 18-year-old case of alleged road rage. “ It is as if he has been charged with a traffic offence...but murder is murder,” the Congress spokesperson added.

Mr Singhvi was quick to point out that the Akali Dal was pointing an accusing finger at the judiciary while saying that the case was politically motivated. The glee in the Congress over today’s development was understandable as the ruling party has been on the defensive after JMM leader and Union Coal Minister Shibu Soren’s conviction in a murder case.

The BJP had gone on the offensive, disrupted Parliament and even targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the inclusion of “tainted ministers” in his Cabinet. Today, it was the Congress turn to hit back and take high moral ground.

The Congress also believes that Mr Sidhu’s conviction will push the BJP-Akali Dal combine on the backfoot in the coming Punjab Assembly poll.

The former cricketer, an MP from Amritsar, has been billed as the NDA’s most popular campaigner and the Opposition was banking on him to draw crowds. Although the NDA came out in Mr Sidhu’s support today, it may find it difficult to field him for its poll campaign as it will put them all on the defensive.

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