Veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva on Thursday refuted a news report that she was negotiating with the BJP and warned of legal action against the newspaper "to help restore my reputation".
In a series of tweets, the former Union Minister and Governor said that she had "read with surprise" a news item carried in the paper's editions countrywide, and termed it "an unfounded malicious report by your paper aimed at maligning and defaming me".
"I am a Congress woman, proud of an unblemished record in public life and a family background of freedom fighters who devoted their lives to the Congress Party.
"I have had no 'negotiations' or intention of leaving the party, least of all joining the BJP to which many politicians have migrated to protect themselves. Each party has its identity and ideology. I cannot under any circumstances exchange mine for that of the BJP," she tweeted.
Seeking "an unqualified apology" from the paper and all its editions "in which this highly defamatory & slanderous piece has appeared", she said, "I will be pursuing all legal options available to me to help restore my reputation which has been damaged by this spiteful piece."
Hailing from Karnataka, Ms Alva has been a General Secretary in the party, a Rajya Sabha member and a Union Minister. She has also served as a Governor during the UPA rule.
Her son, Nikhil Alva, is close aide of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi.