New Delhi: Former union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said that the government should stand by the CBI's report, which has twice said that there is no ground to take criminal action against former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam, if it believed in its independence.
"I am quite confident that the summons will be taken back. Politically, it is very difficult in view of the studied silence of the BJP. The CBI is investigating and has twice said that there is no charge and no ground to take criminal action," said Chidambaram.
"The government must speak up and say we stand by the CBI's report. If the government believes in the independence of the CBI, then why is the government reluctant to say that?" he asked.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who led a solidarity march to Dr Singh's residence today, said that the party is outraged at the news of summons being served to the former prime minister.
"Dr Manmohan Singh ji is our former prime minister. He is known not only in our country but throughout the world as being a person of integrity and probity. The Congress party is fully behind him," she said.
Several senior Congress veterans also participated in the solidarity march that began from the AICC Headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, here.
A special court in Delhi summoned the former prime minister, former coal secretary PC Parakh, industrialist Kumar Manglam Birla and three others in the coal blocks allocation case earlier on Wednesday.
The court summoned them for offences of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. They have all been asked to appear in court on the April 8.
The former prime minister had yesterday said that he is open to legal scrutiny and truth will prevail in the matter.
The case pertains to allocation of Talabira II coal block in Odisha to M/s Hindalco in 2005, when the then prime minister was holding the coal portfolio.