Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Ashwani Kumar, who stepped down as the union law minister on Friday, on Saturday told a press conference that he resigned to end the "unnecessary" controversy surrounding him.
Making a brief statement to reporters, he said resignation does not imply "wrongdoing".
"I have yesterday tendered my resignation to the honourable Prime Minister while thanking him for giving me the opportunity to be a part of his team.
"I have done so to put an end to an unnecessary controversy in a matter which is before the honourable Supreme Court and in which no adverse comments have been made against me in any manner whatsoever.
"My conscience remains clear and I believe that I will stand vindicated because divine justice ordains that truth and justice will prevail," Kumar said in a statement.
The Supreme Court had earlier this week slammed the government for its interference in CBI`s probe into the coal blocks allocation scam.
The CBI, in an affidavit filed before the SC, had stated that the probe report into Coalgate had been shared with the Law Minister, Attorney General GE Vahanvati, and Joint Secretaries of the PMO and Coal Ministry.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha even stated that the minister and the A-G suggested changes in the status report, to be submitted before the apex court.
Kumar also said there are certain political decisions that are considered necessary and he did what the Prime Minister and the party high command thought was appropriate.
Asked whether he has been made a scapegoat, Kumar refused to make a comment but said he would rather let people make a judgement.
"People of this country, my friends who stood by me, many of you in media and my esteemed colleagues in the profession know me for what I am. I would rather let them make a judgement," he said.
To a poser on his decision to resign if he has done no wrong, he said when resignation papers are put, "they do not, by any stretch of imagination, imply any wrongdoing".
"There are certain political decisions that are considered necessary... ."
Kumar said whatever the Prime Minister and the party high command thought fit, "as a loyal foot soldier I have done and I am proud of the fact that I am a loyal foot soldier of the party".
Asked whether his resignation was an indication that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has lost confidence in him, the former law minister replied in a negative. "I do not think I have lost the support of any leader," he said.
He rejected suggestions that making him quit along with Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on separate issues was `unfair` on part of the Prime Minister. "It is prerogative of the Prime Minister to ask his colleagues when to resign and how to resign," he said.
Some supporters, who had gathered at his official residence, raised slogans in support of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ashwani Kumar.
Kumar, in his resignation letter, had said he was resigning to put an end to "unnecessary controversy" and "public perception of any wrongdoing".
(With PTI inputs)