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Cong says sovereignty’ word was never used by Sonia Gandhi, deletes ‘erroneous’ tweet

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday said the word “sovereignty” was never used by former party chief Sonia Gandhi in her campaign speech in Karnataka’s Hubbali and deleted the party’s tweet which had “erroneously” attributed the word to her.

The Congress’ clarification came after the Election Commission on Monday asked AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge to clarify and rectify the party’s social media post on Karnataka’s sovereignty remark attributed to Sonia Gandhi.

“The word sovereignty’ was never used by Smt Sonia Gandhi Ji in her speech dated May 6, 2023 at Hubballi, Karnataka. Since this has been erroneously reported – it is being deleted,” the Congress said in a tweet Wednesday.

The Congress shared a screenshot of Sonia Gandhi’s speech in Hindi on its Twitter handle as well as a YouTube video link of the speech.

A row had erupted over the remark with the BJP on Monday moving the Election Commission seeking an FIR against Sonia Gandhi and her party’s derecognition. The poll panel had asked the Congress to clarify and rectify the party’s social media post.

After Gandhi addressed a campaign rally in Hubballi in Karnataka on Saturday, the Congress tweeted from its official handle: “CPP Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji sends a strong message to 6.5 crore Kannadigas: ‘The Congress will not allow anyone to pose a threat to Karnataka’s reputation, sovereignty or integrity’.”

The tweet has now been deleted.

The EC letter to Kharge had come following a complaint by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In its complaint, the BJP alleged, “Karnataka is a very important member state in the union of India and any call to protect the sovereignty of a member state of the Union of India amounts to a call for secession and is fraught with perilous & pernicious consequences.

A former Congress chief, Sonia Gandhi is currently the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had attacked the Congress over the issue.