Sonia rules out early elections

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SONIANew Delhi, August 24; Scotching speculation, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday ruled out the possibility of early Lok Sabha polls.

“Our aim is to go till the very end,” she told reporters after the inauguration of the National Media Centre here.

Ms. Gandhi initially tried to steer clear of the question when asked by reporters whether Congress would go for polls after passage of landmark legislations such as Food Security bill and the Land Acquisition bill.

“I cannot say anything,” she remarked when another questioner put the same query.

But when journalists persisted, she gave the reply of going “till the very end.”

There has been talk of Lok Sabha polls, due next year in April-May, being combined with the Assembly polls in some states later this year in November. More so, the BJP has been asking the government to seek an immediate mandate in the wake of a looming economic crisis.

Ms. Gandhi also expressed confidence that UPA will come back to power after the next polls, noting that the rights given to the people by the ruling alliance were its USP.

“Certainly. 100 per cent… obviously so many rights we have given. It is our right to information, right to education and now right to food is our USP,” she said when asked about the possibility of UPA coming back to power and what was the USP on which the elections will be fought.

To a query, she said hopefully the Food security bill, which has been pending consideration for long, will be passed next week.

“How can I say?” she said when asked whether BJP will cooperate in its passage.

On the Telangana issue, she said that the AICC panel headed by A.K. Antony is hearing the concerns of those affected. She said Government will also be setting up a committee, but did not elaborate.

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