Monday, March 27, 2006


Isa pa naman tong kumag na Sonia Gandhi na 'to.
Walang kakwenta kwentang bagay, nag-resign.
May "probity" at "inner conscience" pang nalalaman.
Panis kayo sa presidente namin, sinusuka
na ng nakararami, feeling Queen of Sheba pa rin ang ungas.
San kayo nakakita na pwet na naka-Mighty Bond sa trono?


India's Sonia Gandhi resigns from parliament

First posted 11:05pm (Mla time) Mar 23, 2006
Agence France-Presse

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NEW DELHI -- India's ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi resigned her parliamentary seat Thursday after opposition allegations that she wrongfully held another salaried public post.
"Following the principles of probity and my inner conscience I am resigning my post in the parliament," said Gandhi, adding that she would run again for a seat in the Lok Sabha, India's lower house.

Parliament speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who is also accused of holding another salaried post, accepted Gandhi's resignation.

The 59-year-old Gandhi, who led the Congress party to victory in 2004 election, said she would also quit as chairwoman of the National Advisory Council (NAC), set up to implement her government's electoral pledges.

Right-wing opponents had charged that Italian-born Gandhi was breaking regulations by holding both posts and that the Congress adjourned parliament so it could push through a cabinet ordinance to save her.

Sensing the gathering political storm, Prime
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Minister Manmohan Singh hinted that his government was mulling the passage of a full-blown law in parliament that would clearly define what constitutes an office of profit.

"There is no explicit decision as of now as we have not considered the ordinance. All options are open and we will discuss it with other political parties," Singh told reporters.

Minutes after Gandhi announced her surprise resignation, hundreds of Congress activists thronged her home in New Delhi, shouting slogans in support of her action.

"I have done this because I think it is the right thing to do," Gandhi told reporters.

"For the last two days, some people have been trying to create an atmosphere as if the government and parliament are being used to favor me. This has hurt me very much," said Gandhi.

"I have stated it earlier also that I am in politics and public life not for selfish ends," she said.

Gandhi, credited with steering the Congress to victory in May 2004 polls, vowed to run again for her seat.

A by-election, which she is expected easily to win, must now be held in her constituency of Rae Bareli -- a safe Congress bastion -- within 90 days.

The Indian constitution disqualifies an MP "if he holds any office of profit under the Indian government or government of any state, other than an office declared by parliament by law not to disqualify its holder."

Gandhi's surprise resignation came as left-wing allies of the Congress party insisted that a mere ordinance was not enough and that a parliamentary bill was necessary to change house rules on the holding of multiple posts.

"We are opposed to an ordinance and it will have to be the parliament which must decide upon this issue," Communist Party of India leader Doraiswamy Raja told Agence France-Presse.

"But she has taken a very ethical and moral stand and resigned as she was being targeted," the politician added.

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which had accused Congress of adjourning parliament to save Gandhi, launched a scathing attack on her.

"She has become a victim of her own conspiracy and by resigning she is trying to save face but this grandstanding will not pay any dividend as she has subverted parliament and nearly succeeded in subverting the constitution," said BJP spokesman Arun Jaitley.

A member of the upper house was forced to step down earlier this month for combining her parliamentary membership with the top post of a provincial film board.