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No knee jerk reaction on Tharoor issue: Cong

Last updated on: April 19, 2010 19:05 IST

Congress on Monday hailed the process within the party which 'prima facie found facts' against Shashi Tharoor in the IPL controversy, leading to his resignation from the Council of Ministers.

"There was no attempt to avoid the issue, brush it under the carpet. The Prime Minister arrived on Saturday and within a day there were a series of meetings. There was no knee jerk reaction. There was a mature effort to address the problem," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told mediapersons in New Delhi.

He said it was a 'considered and reasoned' process which led to Tharoor's resignation. The spokesman referred to the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (that he will look into the facts) and said the Congress president looked into the issue along with two members of the party's core group.

Asked whether Tharoor was found guilty in the process and asked to resign, Singhvi said it was not a judicial process where anybody can be pronounced guilty or innocent.

"A bonafide process has taken place and prima facie, on grounds of morality, an action has been taken," he said.

Singhvi said, "You have prima facie facts. A holistic view has been taken. This is not to indicate guilty or innocent. We could have compounded the issue in technicalities."

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party for saying it took so long to take a decision, the Congress leader said the charge of the party was 'laughable and completely untrue.'

"Look at the totality of the picture. Congress has always stood for probity, responsible and responsive government. It has not taken refuge in any process. This is in complete contrast to the BJP," he said.

The spokesman referred to the Tehelka issue involving the then Defence Minister George Fernandes who, he said, did not even offer to resign.

"BJP took refuge in denials, commissions of inquiry. The principle opposition party which is in preaching mode overlooked its own backyard in Karnataka," he pointed out.

Noting that a Cabinet minister in Karnataka was in the headlines for corruption, which is known as the 'Bellary issue,' he said, news reports have pointed towards a 'daylight robbery' going on there.

He said the response of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, senior leader L K Advani and the Leader of Opposition in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha (over the Bellary mines issue) has been 'golden silence.'

"They talk of commissions of enquiry and judicial process. This is a classic case of politics of hypocrisy, practice of preaching what you never practice and double standards," he said.

Asked what did the party find against Tharoor, Singhvi  said Congress was 'not obliged' to disclose the reasons and said it was the culmination of a process not present in any other party.

To a query if a 'guilt factor' led Tharoor to put in his papers, he said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has already said no guilty or wrong-doer will be spared.

On a question about the role of Nationalist Congress Party leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel in the IPL matter, Singhvi said he was not addressing any non-Congress person and again referred to Mukherjee's statement that all aspects will be looked into.

The spokesman downplayed questions whether the IPL was a murky organisation saying the party was not concerned with a private body like it.

He, however, added that the country was 'concerned' and therefore the party too was concerned. Singhvi also parried questions on a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the IPL's finances, saying the party stood by finance minister's explicit statement on the issue.

"Rest is speculation. I cannot anticipate what will happen in Parliament," he said.

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