Cong rejects demand for PM`s resignation, slams Opp, leaks

Unfazed by the united Opposition attack over Wikileaks reports, Congress on Thursday dismissed demands for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s resignation.

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2011, 22:30 PM IST

New Delhi: Unfazed by the united
Opposition attack over Wikileaks reports, Congress on Thursday
dismissed demands for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s
resignation, accusing its detractors of indulging in
"irresponsible" politics and "destabilising" the country.

Hailing Singh as a "spotless Prime Minister", party
spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the reports on US
diplomatic cables were "unverified leaks without any
corroborative authentication" and "outlandish allegations not
worth dignifying with a response".

He also attacked `The Hindu` newspaper, which is
publishing reports based on US diplomatic cables released by
whistleblower website Wikileaks and said that his party was
aware of its "legal rights" and has not closed the option to
deal with the situation.

"It is irresponsible politics and it is irresponsible
journalism," he said, adding that as far as the question of
bringing a privilege motion or filing a defamation suit is
concerned, all our legal rights are open.

"All political or other ways are open.... We are not
giving clean chit to anybody," was his response when asked
whether his party would file a defamation suit against the
newspaper.

Singhvi maintained that "the law is not that you make
an outlandish allegation and if I do not file defamation, you
are correct" and rued "somebody chose to publish it as if it
was gospel truth."

Singhvi said those who think that their political
ratings will go up by raising such issues or those thinking
that their circulation will shoot up by publishing such news
should remember that UPA won in 2009 Lok Sabha elections
despite "such wild allegations" levelled against it in 2007-08
as well.

Questioning NDA`s "temerity" to pass a resolution
seeking Prime Minister`s resignation on the issue, Singhvi
said, "People who dream of replacing the Prime Minister" have
remained "Prime Minister in Waiting" for long.

He lambasted the BJP for "firing from the hip" without
"understanding what democracy is all about and destablising
the country.

"There is not an iota of proof directly or
indirectly... it is an outlandish allegation not worth
dignifying with a response...there are enormous factual
inconsistencies in the report," he said. Seeking to dismiss the Wikileaks reports, Singhvi, a
senior lawyer, trashed it as a "subjective recording by Mr A
of his conversation with B as reported to C and some times
referring to D."

Asked whether the Prime Minister`s image would suffer
and if the party was losing ground over the issue, Singhvi
said, "There is no question of losing ground. It will be
underestimating common people to believe that they would go by
such wild allegations".

Singhvi also criticised the BJP over its reaction on
Income Tax notice to Gujarat government seeking details of the
MoUs signed during a recent investment meet in the state and
wondered whether the BJP ruled state is out of purview of
Indian laws.

"Are the Income Tax laws not applicable to Gujarat
because it is ruled by Narendra Modi and BJP. It`s an example
of a guilty mind always being suspicious.

"There is no reply by the BJP government to the notice
sent by the department yet. In a way they tried to pre-empt
the move to seek information...this is climax of irresponsible
politics," he said.

PTI