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Cong reluctant to act against Venod
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 27
The Congress party appears to be in no hurry to take any action against Haryana Power Minister Venod Sharma despite the latest controversy involving him and his son Manu Sharma, a key accused in the Jessica Lall murder case.

In a fresh twist to this case, a Star News-Tehelka news report has alleged that Mr Venod Sharma had paid off key witnesses in the case to save his son.

Faced with a volley of questions on this case at the daily press briefing today, Congress spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi indicated that the party would prefer to steer clear of the controversy. He refused to say anything except to repeatedly maintain that the matter was sub judice and that “the law will take its own course.”

When asked what stopped the party from proceeding against the Haryana minister on the basis of the latest media revelations, Mr Chaturvedi first said that the party need not take an action at the national level and that the state unit would look into the matter. In response to persistent questioning, he stated that the responsible agencies would take cognisance of these allegations, adding that the party could not be expected to take any action before establishing the authenticity of these reports. Mr Sharma is learnt to have denied the latest news reports.

Congress insiders explained that the party had decided not get tangled in this case and instead left it to Mr Venod Sharma and the investigative agencies to sort it out.

Describing it as a complex issue, senior party leaders said that it would be wrong to jump to conclusions on the basis of the media reports and it was important to first ascertain the veracity of these allegations.

It was also pointed out that Mr Venod Sharma had been out in the cold for seven years, having been asked to resign as Chandigarh state unit chief soon after his son’s involvement in the case was revealed. Mr Sharma, who has been a Rajya Sabha member and served as a Union Minister, was denied a party post and a ticket for all these years and he was rehabilitated only last year before the Haryana assembly polls.



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