Sujata clarifies her stance

KATHMANDU: Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala finally summoned herself up to the Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party meeting on Tuesday and clarified her position, ending the week-long controversy sorrunding her refusal to visit India on the goodwill tour on August 22.

"I could not accompany the PM in the India trip as I suddenly took ill," Foreign Minister Sujata told the NC Parliamentarians. "There was no other reasons behind," she added.

Her supporters cheered as she arrived and left the meeting. Security was beefed up in today's meeting.

"President Girijababu came to see me despite his age and health, but none of you came to see me when I was sick," a NC Constituent Assembly (CA) member quoted minister Sujata as saying.

Koirala was criticised from within and outside the party after she reportedly denied accompanying the PM for the later's refusal to appoint her as Deputy Prime Minister. PP leader Ram Chandra Paudel seemed to be contended at Sujata's summoning herself to the meeting, according to sources in the part.

Purna Bahadur Khadka and Gagan Thapa also spoke on the occasion.