Congress strongly defends PM

Friday, November 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Congress party Friday came out strongly in defence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling the opposition’s attack on him over the 2G spectrum scam as “politically motivated” and “born out of ill will”.

While party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi and union minister Kapil Sibal, who was recently given additional charge of the communications and IT ministry, strongly defended the prime minister, party leader Rahul Gandhi also spoke out in his support.

“I don’t think he is in an embarrassing position at all,” Gandhi told reporters outside parliament when asked to comment on the Supreme Court’s observation about the “silence” of Prime Minister’s Office on a plea to prosecute then telecom minister A. Raja over the 2G spectrum scam.

Dwivedi said the opposition attack was politically motivated. “Whatever is happening is politically motivated. He (PM) is being targeted. Everybody knows that the prime minister’s integrity, credibility is beyond doubt,” Dwivedi said here.

He said the allegations against the prime minister were “born out of ill will”.

Sibal said as far as the Prime Minister’s Office is concerned, the government was absolutely clear that “we have done no wrong”.

Attacking former MP Subramanian Swamy, who moved a plea seeking sanction to initiate proceedings against Raja over improper allocation of 2G frequencies, Sibal said it would be sad for the country if sanction is expected merely on the basis of newspaper reports.

“If an individual, who believes himself to be an investigating agency, does not take recourse to law and expects on the basis of newspaper reports for the prime minister to respond and sanction, it will be a sad day for the country,” Sibal said.

Party leaders said the PMO has “done nothing to deserve the comments that the nation is hearing”.

“If Swamy had gone to courts with nothing more than newspaper reports, court would have rubbished it. That’s why he chose to go to the PMO to get political mileage. With every newspaper report, his document swelled,” the senior leader said.

He said it will be “a sad day for Indian democracy if the prime minister started giving sanction on the basis of newspaper reports”.

“The PM is not obliged to write to a person who had not filed any case and who believes he is an investigating agency,” Sibal said.

The comments of Congress leaders came hours after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari alleged that Manmohan Singh had given the DMK “full freedom” to “loot the country”.

The DMK’s A. Raja resigned as the communication and IT minister Nov 14 after being accused of wrongdoing in the 2008 award of 2G spectrum, resulting in huge losses to the government.

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