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We will go the root of the Volcker report: Govt
November 03, 2005 18:50 IST
As the Opposition intensified its campaign for External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh's resignation, the government on Thursday said it would 'go to the root' of the Volcker Committee report.
The report has named Singh and the Congress Party as the non-contractual beneficiaries of the United Nation's Food-for Oil programme during the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.
The External Affairs Minister, who has been bearing the Opposition's onslaught ever since the report became public, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the latter's 7 Race Course Road residence and explained his position in the matter. He declined to speak to waiting mediapersons after the meeting.
In a statement issued later by Dr Sanjaya Baru, Media Advisor to Dr Singh, the government maintained its position that the Volcker Committee report was insufficient to arrive at any adverse or definitive conclusion. It stated that it was determined to go to the root of the matter and establish the truth or otherwise of this reference.
"The matter is under the serious consideration of the government and the decision will be announced shortly," the statement said.
Meanwhile Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, whose name also figures in the findings, denied reports that he had seen Singh's name in any document related to the scam.
On the authenticity of the Volcker Committee report, he said it was correct but emphasised that it was aimed at framing Saddam Hussein.
The Bharatiya Janata Party demanded that Dr Singh drop the Foreign Minister from the Union Cabinet and a criminal case be registered against him since he was a non-contractual beneficiary of the payoffs.
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley told UNI in Patna that Natwar Singh should be dismissed, as his continuance in office was an embarrassment for the nation.