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Cong Reacts Cautiously Over Reports Of Nalini's Early Release

Congress on Thursday  reacted cautiously over the issue of the premature release of Nalini, sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.  "These are extremely sensitive legal matters. There is
PTI January 21, 2010 21:15 IST
PTI

Congress on Thursday  reacted cautiously over the issue of the premature release of Nalini, sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. 

"These are extremely sensitive legal matters. There is nothing official which is in the public space or which is known to us. And I think it is absolutely inappropriate in the absence of any formal intimation for the Congress party to be reacting to it," Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said in New Delhi. 

He was asked to comment on reports that an advisory board formed to consider the plea for premature release of Nalini could submit its report to the Tamil Nadu government for a decision on it. 

Asked to comment on the reports that the state unit of the Congress has strongly opposed any move to release Nalini, Tewari said, "If the state unit has articulated an opinion they are well within their rights to do so. But we would like to wait to see something official before we react." 

Echoing similar views, AICC media department in-charge and party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said the state unit (Tamil Nadu) is free to express its feelings. 

Former senior Congress leader from the state E V K S Elangovan has already said the government should think twice before releasing Nalini, saying it will send out wrong signals. 

Tewari, meanwhile, parried questions on Priyanka Gandhi's meeting with Nalini in the jail in 2008 and Sonia Gandhi's support for commuting of the sentence from capital punishment to life imprisonment.

"At that time, Congress President herself had given in writing to the President, saying what she had to say. It will not be appropriate to add anything to it," the Congress spokesperson said. Asked again about Priyanka's meeting with Nalini, he refused to comment saying, "I do not want to comment on any personal meeting of an individual.

"If she made any initiative on it due to some reason it is our responsibility that we give her that much space that if she wants to do anything, we do not over scrutinise it." PTI