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I will answer allegations in Parliament: Natwar Singh
November 08, 2005 14:41 IST
Last Updated: November 08, 2005 16:27 IST
Union Minister K Natwar Singh on Tuesday said he was not a coward and will answer all allegations against him in Parliament.
Natwar Singh was divested of his external affairs portfolio on Monday.
Complete Coverage: The Volcker report-- The Indian connection
A defiant minister, addressing supporters who came from several parts of Rajasthan at his official residence, rubbished all the charges leveled against him in the Paul Volcker report on Iraqi oil-for-food scam and he was happy that a probe had been instituted into it.
"Can you believe that the Congress party which has produced several great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajendra Prasad can sell oil for money?
"I am just a loyal member of the big party. If somebody levels this kind of allegations, they should be ashamed of themselves," Singh said.
Natwar Singh said, "I am not a coward. I am standing here and I can answer the whole world. Congress party and I are not afraid of any probe."
As his supporters cheered and jostled to catch a glimpse of their leader, an emotional Singh said, "I have been in politics for the last two decades and in the end, I will have to answer to my conscience."
He said the large number of supporters who had assembled had come on their own and 'either is this a show of strength or message to anybody'.
Singh claimed buses carrying his supporters were being stopped at Jantar Mantar and appealed to authorities to let them come to meet him.
"I am still a minister and CWC member. There will not be any indiscipline. I am not holding any public meeting here, let them come and visit me as they are like my family members," he said.
Though he refused to elaborate on the controversy surrounding the Volcker committee report, Singh reiterated that he had not received any letter from the UN panel that looked into allegations of corruption in the Iraqi oil-for-food programme.
On the judicial inquiry by former Supreme Court Chief Justice R S Pathak and the appointment of Special Envoy Virendra Dayal to collect documents related to the Volcker probe, Singh said, "I had demanded the investigation and I am not afraid of any probe."
He asserted that no harm can be done to him and the party through these allegations.
"I will not do anything which will force me or you to hang our heads in shame," he told his supporters.