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Guilty will be punished: Sonia on Volcker report
November 15, 2005 15:06 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said action will be taken against any individual found guilty in the inquiry into allegations of pay offs in the Iraqi oil deals.
She also rejected a suggestion that she was 'protecting' former external affairs minister K Natwar Singh.
"Obviously, we are waiting for the results of the inquiry...what comes out of the inquiry... Action will be taken if something comes out against any individual if he has indulged in some activities.
"The government will initiate action (against individuals). We can no longer look the other way when such things take place," she said in reply to questions on the Volcker Committee controversy at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
Making it clear that she fully backed the government decision on instituting a judicial probe into the allegations and was '100 per cent with it' to get to the bottom of the problem.
" I hope that they will come out with the truth in the shortest possible time. Action will be taken on any individual found not innocent," she said during the question-answer session following the speech.
Asked if the inquiry on the basis of document found that somebody had used the Congress party's name to make money, Sonia said, "It is certainly a very serious issue. It made me extremely angry and if some individuals has misused the name of the party, it is my duty to see... I was of the strong view that the government should look into this issue to go into the bottom of this matter."
She said there was certain amount of cynicism among the people that all political parties were the same and indulged in corrupt activities.
"I think it is sad and bad that people should have such a feeling about political parties. I believe it is important to do what I can to change this impression of the people who have about us.
"Whenever such instances come to light, we have to take immediate action in the form of probe or some credible action. It may take time. But slowly people are bound to change their opinion of establishment and political parties," she said.
Asked about reports that she was the one who backed Natwar Singh during the crisis and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted action against him, Gandhi said, "This is not accurate at all."
"Natwar Singh has had a very close working relationship with me. But, I kept on saying that if what transpired has come out in those documents…if those documents were authentic, if anyone has indulged in such activities, I shall certainly not protect them and I shall not be by their side," she said.