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Congress May Expel Venkataswamy

New Delhi, Feb 2 :  Senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh G Venkataswamy, who caused a flutter demanding the resignation of Sonia Gandhi as party chief, could be shown the door.Indications to this effect were
PTI February 05, 2011 0:24 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Feb 2 :  Senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh G Venkataswamy, who caused a flutter demanding the resignation of Sonia Gandhi as party chief, could be shown the door.

Indications to this effect were available with Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, who is in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, saying that his "viciousness" in attacking Gandhi and his "arrogance" certainly warranted action.

Replying to questions, Moily, however, did not specify the form of disciplinary action against the 82-year-old former Deputy Leader of the party in the Lok Sabha.

Congress sources have said that the party chief has the power to summarily expel even a CWC member for anti-party activities."We have taken serious note of his arrogance, vicious attitude and such actions definitely warrants action," Moily told PTI.Asked about the type of action he was referring to, he merely said: "Wait and see."

Moily said Congress has given everything to Venkataswamy and his family. "It is really shocking how he is repaying his gratitude to the party which has endowed him the highest benefits. He is highly ungrateful to a party which nurtured him as a mother...(his remarks) are absolutely absurd, irresponsible, insensitive and grossly violative of the norms and standards of discipline on the Indian National Congress," he said.

The Law Minister said he spoke with Venkataswamy this morning with regard to the veracity of his statement."He said he has indeed made such a statement. I asked him whether he will withdraw the statement, the remarks made against the Congress president. He said no (he will not)," Moily said.

Meanwhile, Venkataswamy said in Hyderabad that he was ready to withdraw all his comments. "I had to make those comments because I was worried that party may suffer in Telangana region. I am ready to withdraw all comments...I request her (Gandhi) separate Telangana".

The Telangana leader had demanded that Italy-born Sonia Gandhi step down as party chief and make way for an "Indian".

In a no-holds-barred attack on Congress leadership, Venkataswamy alleged corruption has grown and that the nation and party were suffering from various ills. He also criticised the party over moves to tie up with Praja Rajyam Party headed  by actor Chiranjeevi.

Congress sources said Venkataswamy's attack needed to be seen in the light of the fact that he was soon going to be out of the CWC which Gandhi is reconstituting.

Meanwhile, Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh V Arun Kumar termed Venkataswamy's outburst against Sonia Gandhi as a "shameful" act.

Kumar, the MP from Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra, said Venkataswamy, a CWC member, should not forget that he was one among several Congress leaders who "bowed before Sonia Gandhi" asking her to take over the reins of the party in 1998.

Kumar said Congress' decision to tie up with actor Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party is based on a proposal by late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

"It was YSR who wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi on May 18, 2009 two days after the elections saying that PRP should be included in the cabinet to strengthen Congress," he said.

He said Venkatasamy should be "ashamed"of making such a statement demanding the resignation of the Congress President.

"No one should forget the past...Venkatasamy left the Congress in 1971 and again joined the party in 1973. He was made a central minister. He should not forget the past," he said.

On Venkatasamy criticising Congress' moves to tie up with PRP, Kumar said just because Chiranjeevi is an "integrationist" it is not proper to say the party has bowed before him."Telangana and integration of the state and tie up with PRP are two different issues. He should not confuse the two issues," he said. 

In Hyderabad,  G Venkataswamy,  today said he is ready to withdraw all his comments


"I had to make those comments because I was worried that party may suffer in Telangana region. I am ready to withdraw all comments...I request her (Gandhi) for a separate Telangana," the octogenarian leader said, appearing to be backtracking on the issue.

"If I am expelled, party workers in Telangana would form a new outfit called Telangana Congress," he claimed.

Meanwhile, Venkataswamy's son and Congress MP G Vivek said he did not agree with the comments of his father and he has faith in Gandhi's leadership.

Slamming Venkataswamy for his attack on Gandhi, Youth Congress activists met Andhra Pradesh Congress president D Srinivas at his residence here late last night and demanded disciplinary action against him.

Demanding Gandhi to quit from Congress president post and make way for an lndian who has risen from grass root, the dalit leader from Telangana had yesterday alleged corruption and inflation have risen under her leadership and the party is fast losing its base all over the country.

Taking exception to Congress high command's move of inviting PRP chief Chiranjeevi to work together, Venkataswamy said the decision has lowered the stature of Congress as the actor-turned-politician supports united Andhra Pradesh.

Congress leaders in the state, led by Srinivas, have condemned Venkataswamy's comments against the party president.

"These comments are most unfortunate. I condemn all the utterances made by Venkataswamy. It seems he was not in sense," Srinivas said.

State minister and prominent Dalit leader in Congress D Rajanarasimha said Venkataswamy's comments are aimed at positioning himself or his son for the post of chief minister if separate Telangana is realised.

Several state ministers and other party leaders also condemned Venkataswamy's remarks against Gandhi.

AICC Secretary and Congress MLC P Sudhakar Reddy demanded that Venkataswamy be expelled from the party immediately.

Reddy told PTI that he has sent letters to A K Anthony, chairman of Congress disciplinary committee, and other leaders urging them to expel Venkataswamy from the party. PTI