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Dr Singh dismisses BJP's demands
Sheela Bhatt on board Air India One | December 04, 2005 20:50 IST
Last Updated: December 04, 2005 21:07 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has refused to cow down to Bharatiya Janata Party's pressure on the issue of the Volcker report and recent revelations against Natwar Singh by Aniel Mathrani. He remains firm that he does not want to prejudge the issue before Pathak Committee gives its findings.
While talking to the media accompanying him to his three-day official visit to Moscow, he dismissed the BJP's demands.
When asked to comment on their demand for the resignation of Sonia Gandhi, the United Progressive Alliance chairperson, Dr Singh said, "The BJP itself knows there is no substance in what they are saying in Parliament. I don't attach any significance to what BJP is saying in this matter."
He categorically denied that Sonia and he have differences on the matter of retaining Natwar Singh in the Union Cabinet.
When asked a hypothetical question that if Natwar Singh resigns voluntarily, will he accept his resignation, Dr Singh said, "If and when that situation arises, I will consider what to do." He played down the tricky question by remaining non-committal.
When asked about his meeting with Natwar Singh on Saturday, Dr Singh said, "He is a colleague of mine. He came to see me to discuss various issues and what has happened in last few days. There is nothing significant about it."
However, Dr Singh's (and the government's) embarassment over the Volcker issue was visible when he was forced to tread cautiously. Though he stood by what he has already said in Parliament, Dr Singh did not defend Natwar excessively; he did not, however, mince words while attacking the BJP for demanding Sonia's resignation.