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Natwar may resign if probe is ordered into Volcker report
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | November 04, 2005 12:39 IST
Last Updated: November 04, 2005 23:54 IST
External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh is likely to resign if the government announces an inquiry into the Paul Volcker Committee report that named Singh and the Congress as 'non-contractual beneficiaries' in the Iraq Oil-for-Food scam.
External Link: 'Report based on Iraqi govt documents'
According to sources, a decision to announce a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge is likely to be taken soon.
"It is decided that if an inquiry is announced, Natwar Singh will step down," a top-level source in the government said.
Also, Jammu and Kashmir's Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh's revelations -- that he did not accept a similar deal from the Saddam Hussein government, and also at that time he had seen Natwar Singh's name on such a list -- has put the Congress and Singh in a tight spot.
But the Prime Minister's Office says it finds the report 'insufficient to arrive at any adverse or definitive conclusion'.
However, it said the government is determined to get to 'the root of the matter and establish the truth or otherwise of these references'.
Reportedly, more than a dozen officers belonging to the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and the Central Bureau of Investigation have been asked to look deeper into the report.
Congress sources are also trying to find out if any National Democratic Alliance leader or minister had played any part in it.
Ram Naik's Iraq visit as oil and petroleum minister is also under the Congress scanner.
The PMO is also thinking of having a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe the matter, provided the Bharatiya Janata Party agrees to it.