Sonia Gandhi was 'forced' to regret, says Mayawati

Rita Joshis bail plea deferred till Saturday because of lawyers strike

Sonia Gandhi was 'forced' to regret, says Mayawati


“Sonia Gandhi was forced to express regret as she feared reaction from the dalits across the country,” Mayawati said while addressing a press conference here.

The BSP supremo, however, said the “regret” does in no way makes  Rita's offence lesser and pardonable. “She (Rita) may be out on bail like BJP MP Varun Gandhi but she will certainly be punished by the law for her indecent remarks.”

Mayawati warned the Congress workers, who have been holding protest and demonstrations, of stern action if they disturb the law and order in the state. “BSP workers are not weak. Had I not restrained them, they would have taken to streets across the country. And then not only Uttar Pradesh but the whole country would have been brought under President's rule,” she added.

“The Congress leaders and workers would have been forced to remain confined to their homes had the BSP workers taken to streets”, she said.

Mayawati, however, said that in view of the regret by Sonia Gandhi, her party has decided not to disrupt the proceedings in the Parliament.

She, however, lamented that the Congress has not yet taken any action against Rita.

Mayawati said she was thankful to all the leaders, who have criticised Rita’s remarks.

Bail plea

Meanwhile, the bail plea of UP Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi, currently lodged in Moradabad jail after being booked under the SC/ST Act following her ‘derogatory’ remarks against chief minister Mayawati, was deferred till Saturday following a strike by local lawyers.

The striking lawyers were opposed to the hearing of the bail application but later relented and allowed the defence and prosecution lawyers to argue their case.
As a section of the lawyers continued to oppose the hearing, the matter was deferred till Saturday.

Azharuddin held

On Friday, Congress MP and former cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin courted arrest with party workers in protest against Rita's arrest.

Film actress Nafeesa Ali met Rita in jail. She said Rita’s words were unfortunate but there was no justification in torching her house and arresting her.

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