Preparing to nail the ruling coalition on the Volcker report in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, the opposition National Democratic Alliance on Monday approached the United Nations and sought documents that had named the Congress party and External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh in the Iraqi oil deals.
In a letter to United Nations Secretary General, NDA leaders including former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and alliance convener George Fernandes [Images] also sought to know whether the Volcker Committee gave prior intimation and opportunities to persons concerned in India to explain themselves as also the modalities followed in the probe.
Emphasising that they had no intention of playing domestic politics in the international arena and were not concerned about specific persons and entities involved, the NDA leaders said, "The issue and the circumstances of the matter impinge on national interests and national honour and are therefore of immense concern to our country as a whole. "Such actions, if true, bring shame to the entire nation and therefore the facts unearthed must stand the test of proper scrutiny," they said.
Maintaining that in all such complicated and controversial situations, the only goal to pursue is truth with "unimpeachable evidence and due process", the leaders including leader of opposition Lal Kishenchand Advani requested Kofi Annan to urge the Volcker Committee to urgently provide them with copies of all documents in its possession which assisted it in arriving at the names of Natwar Singh and the Congress party as having been part of the Oil-For-Food-Programme.
The alliance also wanted to know whether any prior intimation and opportunities were given to "the concerned person and entity in India, including evidence of the same, so that they could explain themselves". They also urged the UN panel to explain the modalities followed in the investigation by which it came to its conclusions regarding Singh and the Congress party.
The NDA asked the Volcker Committee to confirm with documentary evidence as to "When and who made the authorization; how (in writing or oral) and through whom the allotments of oil were made to the Congress party."
They sought a response from the panel at the earliest, as the issue was "bound to feature as soon as Parliament reopens" on November 23.
Complete Coverage: Volcker Report
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