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Updated: July 23, 2012 20:55 IST

Sonia asks Patel to “do something” to end stand-off

PTI
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UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the farewell ceremony for the outgoing President Pratibha Patil at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday.
PTI
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the farewell ceremony for the outgoing President Pratibha Patil at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday.

With the stand-off between her party and the NCP continuing, Congress President Sonia Gandhi was today heard asking NCP leader Praful Patel to “do something” to end the crisis.

Gandhi’s remark in half-jest at the tea party after the farewell function held for outgoing President Pratibha Patil drew an instant reaction from Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, who was also having a chat with the Congress chief.

“Don’t do anything,” Swaraj told Patel, leaving him literally speechless.

When reporters later asked Gandhi as to what was her message to the NCP with the stand-off still persisting, the Congress Chief refused to comment.

“No message, no message,” she said, waving her hands.

Rahul Gandhi was by her side.

NCP Chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who was present in the Central Hall during the farewell speech of Patil to MPs, did not attend the tea party.

Pawar was seated next to Defence Minister A.K.Antony in the front row during the speech.

But soon after the programme ended, Pawar left Parliament after exchanging pleasantries with some MPs.

Gandhi and Swaraj were seen chatting for most part of their stay at the tea party. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Speaker Meira Kumar, BJP Parliamentary Party Chief L.K.Advani and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley were present along with Patil.

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