A combative Sonia Gandhi on Thursday asked Congress MPs not to be defensive on the Comptroller and Auditor General report on coal blocks allocation and to aggressively counter the offensive launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party which is demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.
Ms. Gandhi told a group of Congress MPs from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha who met her on Thursday morning after the BJP-led Opposition forced adjournments in both Houses, to take the onslaught head on and not be defensive.
The MPs who met Ms. Gandhi included Sandip Dikshit, Deepinder Hooda, Jyoti Mirdha, Anu Tandon, Ranee Narah and Sanjay Nirupam.
The issue had also figured in the UPA coordination committee meeting during which some allies of the ruling alliance had said that the Congress should be upfront and demolish the Opposition’s charges as the allegations put the entire United Progressive Alliance in a bad light.
There is a view in the government that the BJP is resorting to these tactics in a calibrated manner to gain political mileage and hence the impasse in Parliament cannot be resolved through “one-sided efforts.”
Government managers are, however, keeping the options open and talking to leaders of various political parties. “We talk to all political leaders,” a Union Minister remarked.