The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Liar tag on Sonia

New Delhi, Sept. 22: Rattled by Sonia Gandhi’s bid to link George Fernandes to the coffin scam during her election meetings in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last week, the Samata Party today hit back, asking her to produce evidence and failing which “apologise to the country”.

Terming the Congress chief “the biggest liar” in the country, Samata spokesperson Shiv Kumar alleged that she had been misleading the nation on defence purchases and thereby demoralising the army and endangering national security.

“There is no other bigger liar than her in this country,” Kumar told a news conference. “She should tell us what this coffin scam is about and who all made money out of the coffin purchases.”

He said his party was posing three questions before the Congress: when were the coffins bought, who siphoned the funds and what evidence it had.

He said the Congress had been boycotting defence minister Fernandes in Parliament for the last 20 months but the government had replied to all the Opposition allegations during the no-trust motion debate in the Lok Sabha last month. Despite that, Sonia was repeating the “lies” in her campaign speeches, Kumar charged.

Fernandes had also dared the Congress to submit evidence to the Speaker, but it went unheeded, he added.

Asked what the party would do if she did not apologise, he said it would discuss the issue and take a decision. “Sonia is a habitual liar. She violated Indian law several times and if convicted she could be in jail for 26 years,” Kumar said.

On human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi’s resignation, Kumar said he did the right thing by quitting.

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