M A I N   N E W S

Sonia refuses to meet Jogi, sets up probe panel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 7
The Congress tied itself in knots in its handling of the Jogi episode. Last night, in her first statement to television channels, AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni first defended former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi. She later went on air announcing his suspension on the ground that Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s name had been dragged into this controversy.

Today, after the CWC meeting, party spokesperson S. Jaipal Reddy said Mr Jogi had been suspended for writing a letter to the Governor extending support to a breakaway group of BJP legislators without any authorisation from the Congress leadership. The references to Ms Sonia Gandhi, he said, were unwarranted and malicious.

Distancing itself from the tape controversy involving Mr Jogi, Mr Reddy said the sting operation was regrettable, adding that the “law must apply squarely to all, be it the Judeo episode or the audio-tape controversy involving Mr Jogi.”

Earlier, Mr Ajit Jogi was today shunned by his party and left to fight his own battles, with Ms Sonia refusing to meet him.

The Congress made its intentions clear last night when it acted quickly to suspend Mr Jogi even without hearing him out. Having stood by him through a series of controversies, this episode proved to be the proverbial last straw, especially since Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s name was dragged into the sordid drama.

The former Chief Minister did have an hour-long meeting with Congress President’s political secretary Ahmed Patel. Although it was clear that the party was no longer willing to back Mr Jogi, the latter put up a public show of optimism.

Ms Gandhi has constituted a three-member committee to go into the allegations.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |