The Congress on Monday slammed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for targeting Opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar, saying that the former should refrain from doing such things while holding a responsible position.
“Sushma Swaraj's tweet gives an impression that Meira ji did not allow her to speak, but that is not the fact of the matter. She definitely told her to remain within the timeline as was scheduled in the Parliament and that is the job of the Speaker. I don't think it is a major issue. I think this should not be read as something that would go against the Presidential candidate from the Opposition,” Congress leader Tom Vadakkan told ANI.
Party leader N.A. Harris said Swaraj should not comment against people who hold credibility.
“Everybody knows what kind of person Meira Kumar ji is. Her family background and all. They should not comment against people who have credibility. Sushma Swaraj ji holds responsible position of the Government. She should not make such comments,” he said.
Ahead of the presidential election, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday targeted former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar using a 2013 video of the Lok Sabha proceedings and a newspaper report.
"This is how Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar treated the Leader of Opposition," Sushma Swaraj tweeted, along with an April 2013 video of the Lok Sabha proceedings during the Budget Session.
In the six-minute video, Sushma Swaraj is seen berating the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, pointing to a number of alleged scams.
Four minutes into the video, then Speaker Meira Kumar is seen repeatedly saying "alright", "thank you", "okay", "I have to proceed", hinting then Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to conclude her speech.
The External Affairs Minister also attached a link of a news report of the Pioneer newspaper dated May 3, 2013, which said that Sushma Swaraj was "interrupted" by the Speaker for "at least 60 times during the next 120 seconds of Swaraj's speech".
At the end of the video, the Bharatiya Janata Party members led by Sushma Swaraj are seen walking out of the House.
Meira Kumar has been named the opposition's presidential candidate to take on National Democratic Alliance's candidate Ram Nath Kovind.