Vadodara: BJP on Tuesday said the "absence" of allies at the Congress rally held in New Delhi on Sunday was indicative of the party lacking political support for its FDI policy.

"Despite it being a government-sponsored rally, the allies of Congress did not attend it. This is symptomatic of the failure of Congress to convince its own partners on this issue," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman said.

Taking a dig at Congress, she said, "How can you convince people on the need of FDI when the UPA government finds it difficult to convince its own partners on it?"

The BJP spokesperson was in the city to conduct a media workshop for the party workers from Central Gujarat ahead of Assembly polls slated for next month.

In a party-organised rally on Sunday, the Congress bigwigs including party chief Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi conveyed the message that the party was on board on economic reforms.

Criticising Sonia Gandhi's remark at the rally which was apparently aimed at BJP president Nitin Gadkari Sitaraman said Congress must not forget involvement of its own leaders "in a number of scams".

Attacking AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi for his remark that "economic liberalisation is inevitable for prosperity", Sitaraman said the erstwhile NDA government had taken its 23 allies into confidence when it carried out reforms in the fields of telecom, infrastructure, insurance, pension and others.

"...Here Congress is out to convince people on FDI in retail without convincing UPA parters," she said.

On allegations of corruption against party president Nitin Gadkari, Sitaraman said, "The BJP endorses his rebuttal of charges and readiness to face investigation and is not on the backfoot on the corruption issue as being projected".

In an apparent reference to Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, she said, "Rather Congress has been running away from answering questions. They are not open to investigation". On BJP leader Ram Jethmalani going public demanding Gadkari's resignation and claiming support of Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh and other leaders on the issue, Sitaraman replied, "The party backs Gadkari".

Earlier, she asked BJP workers to refrain from discussing with media the internal matters of the party.

She dismissed as "too speculative" the question regarding who will replace Gadkari if he happens to step down as the party president in the wake of allegations of corruption.


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