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Prithviraj Chavan dismisses Natarajan’s allegations

Prithviraj Chavan

Nagpur: Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan today dismissed the allegations levelled by former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, saying there was “neither pressure nor interference” from the party leadership.

Chavan was a minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the UPA government.

There was neither pressure nor interference from the Congress leadership with regard to clearance of projects during the UPA regime, Chavan said here.

Natarajan today quit Congress and accused the party vice president Rahul Gandhi of interference in the environment ministry.

Chavan, known to have been close to the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said, “We get so many letters and delegations from interested persons, but as a minister, one is expected to go by the rule book and not to favour anyone. If she has done any illegal things, it should be probed.”

Talking to reporters here, he also said that deletion of the words “secular” and “socialist” from the advertisement put out by the Union government on the Republic Day was “a trial balloon” floated by the Narendra Modi government.

The Prime Minister himself should clarify the issue, Chavan said, adding that the BJP-led government at the Centre might be doing such “exercise” to gauge the people’s mood.

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