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Willing for any probe but no intention to quit: Khurshid

Last updated on: October 14, 2012 19:40 IST

Willing for any probe but no intention to quit: Khurshid

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Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday came out with documents to rubbish charges of misappropriation of funds by a trust run by him and his wife and expressed willingness for any probe while making it clear that he has no intention to resign.

Soon after his return from London, he left the decision about his continuance in the government to the Congress High Command but said he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to 'share my experiences' with him.

Addressing a press conference which witnessed high drama and sparring between him and journalists of TV Today group, he displayed documents and photographs to show that camps were held for distribution of equipment to the disabled people.

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Image: Law Minister Salman Khurshid


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Khurshid, flanked by his wife Louise who is project director of the Zakir Hussain Trust, said the Uttar Pradesh government, at their behest, was already probing whether an affidavit signed by a state government official J B Singh carried forged signatures as has been alleged.

"Nothing on Rs 71 lakh can be proved... Not a word can be proved. They can scream, scream and scream till they turn blue in their face," said the law minister at the one-and- a-half hour long press conference where he lost his temper a number of times and once told a journalist of TV Today group to shut up and leave.

Before the press conference, he wanted journalists from Aaj Tak and Headlines Today to be kept out but relented after other journalists said it would be inappropriate.

"Let there be any inquiry by any authority. It can be Comptroller and Auditor General... Inquiry should find out who is responsible for this. But the inquiry should cover the role of India Today group as well," he said.

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Image: Arvind Kejriwal


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Willing for any probe but no intention to quit: Khurshid

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Asked whether he would resign, Khurshid dubbed it as a 'disputed question of journalist ethics and political ethics'. At the same time, he said he would be ready to take the 'extreme decision' in the matter. "I will submit my resignation if Aroon Purie (TV Today chairman-cum-managing director) also steps down," he said.

On his continuance in the government, Khurshid said, "The party and the government will decide. I will not take a minute to decide what is in the interest of the party. I am a party worker first."

Highlighting his 'hurt', he said he would meet the prime minister. "I will certainly share whatever my experience with the prime minister. He is my leader in the government. He has the right to know. He will certainly know," he said.

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Image: TV Today Chairman-cum-managing director Aroon Purie


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Willing for any probe but no intention to quit: Khurshid

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"Evidence that the affidavit is wrong is not clear... How would Louise know it is forged? We took it at face value... Therefore we have asked the UP government to include this aspect also in the probe," "The UP govt is probing into mysterious affidavit that is suspected to have carried forged signatures," he said, adding "Let the UP government establish who signed" it.

This comes in the backdrop of allegations that a senior state government official whose signature was carried in the document has denied having signed it, saying he had retired three months prior.

To counter the charges levelled against him and wife, the law minister released documents to show that 34 camps were held for the disabled people in 2009 and 2010 and produced people associated with these camps.

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Image: Salman Khurshid's wife Louise

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An intended beneficiary Rangey Mistry, who figured in the sting operation conducted by Aaj Tak channel, was also produced before the press. He said he had received a hearing aid gadget from the Zakir Hussain Trust two years back, amid cheering by the law minister and others.

Khurshid said others who figured in the TV programme which he refused to accept as a 'sting' operation will also appear before media.

Somebody, somewhere sitting in some office, which is feeding India Today is also the person who is worried about the inquiry. Too much will come out. And what they have been doing for years, will immediately be exposed," he said.

Referring to his defamation case against TV Today Group, he said, "We have gone to court in a civilised manner... Let there be an indepth inquiry to find who is responsible for what."

The TV Today Group has already issued a statement, saying it stands by the 'veracity' of its report and would 'defend' it.


Image: Law Minister Salman Khurshid


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