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I won't resign: Somnath Chatterjee
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 29, 2006 18:57 IST
Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee rejected the Bhartiya Janata Party's demand for his resignation, since his name also figures in the list of those Members of Parliament who hold an office of profit besides.
Speaking to the press at Rashtrapati Bhavan after the Padma awards ceremony, Chatterjee said, "Why should I resign? Let someone file a petition and then I will prove beyond doubt that as chairman of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, I have not made any money. If I had resigned it would have amounted to acceptance of a sense of guilt."
Did he also mean that Sonia Gandhi should not have resigned? "Mrs Gandhi is here and you should ask her this question," he said.
However, Chatterjee felt that the matter needs to be sorted out soon. "The media has also contributed a lot to the controversy. Just because you are holding another office does not mean that you are making money for yourself. These are public service offices," he said.
Chatterjee denied the BJP's allegation that he had bailed out Sonia Gandhi by accepting her resignation within hours of its submission.
"Where is the question of bailing her out? I am constitutionally obliged to do that. I had accepted the resignation of P A Sangma some time back and I have done the same in her case" he said.
Chatterjee refused to comment, however, on whether the clause 'office of profit' should be abolished. "I would not like to say anything. The law should be uniformally applied. If it is barred, then no MP or MLA should be allowed to hold any office of profit," he said.
Complete coverage: Sonia Gandhi resigns