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Head of India's Congress Party Slams Opposition Attacks on Prime Minister

India's Congress party President Sonia Gandhi (file photo - 02 Sept. 2010)
India's Congress party President Sonia Gandhi (file photo - 02 Sept. 2010)

The leader of India's ruling Congress Party has slammed the opposition party for targeting the prime minister in a cell phone licensing scandal that has cost the country billions of dollars.

Sonia Gandhi praised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's integrity Wednesday, calling attacks against him "shameful."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been criticized for failing to quickly investigate the multi-billion dollar scandal that forced the resignation of former telecommunications minister and Congress Party power broker Andimuthu Raja last week.

India's Supreme Court continued proceedings Wednesday to hear the prime minister's explanation for his delayed reaction.

Parliament has failed to break a political deadlock over opposition demands for a joint parliamentary investigation into the scandal.

The Congress Party has refused to agree to the probe, saying a separate inquiry is underway.

Opposition lawmakers have blocked parliamentary sessions for several days this month, preventing any legislation from being passed.

Raja is accused of selling second-generation, or 2G, cellular licenses to companies in 2008 at reduced rates, costing the treasury nearly $39 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.