New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said he will take a final call on Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor involvement in the Kochi IPL ownership controversy after studying all the details.
Commenting on the controversy, the Prime Minister said that there are “ups and downs” in politics and there is no need to jump to conclusions. The statement of the Prime Minister is a clear indication of his attempt to buy time on the issue.
Dr Singh’s statement comes after his return from eight-day visit to the US and Brazil where he participated in three multilateral summits and held over half a dozen bilateral meeting with world leaders.
As per the latest news report, the PM will be meeting Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders this evening itself on the issue.
Meanwhile, Congress has said that the PM will take the right decision on Tharoor controversy at the right time.
Earlier, the reports claimed that the party wanted to take a final decision on Tharoor before Parliament resumes on Monday.
It is being speculated that Tharoor may be spared for the moment and given an honourable exit when the PM effects a minor reshuffle of his cabinet.
Meanwhile, Tharoor has asked for time to meet the PM, reportedly to give an explanation on the whole controversy. According to television reports, the Congress probe committee has prima facie evidence of impropriety in the IPL Kochi deal.
Congress has already indicated that ‘all is not well’ with Tharoor and that his fate now lies in the hands of Sonia Gandhi and the PM.
"The ball is in the Prime Minister`s court", highly placed party sources had said, adding that Singh would be having the relevant information as regards the Kochi IPL ownership controversy to take a decision in the matter.
“Tharoor a live bomb”
What stand the party will take is significant, as it comes a day after the Minister of State for External Affairs` personal explanation in the Lok Sabha and opposition parties remaining unrelenting in their demand for his resignation.
Sidestepping questions whether the Tharoor issue was a closed chapter and if he was out of the woods, they said the Congress has already made its position clear by distancing itself from the controversy involving the Union Minister.
Besides, the sources emphasised that Tharoor`s meeting with party chief Sonia Gandhi was just to put his side of the story before her. "Gandhi just gave him a patient hearing," the sources said implying that the meeting does not mean the Minister has got a reprieve.
Ducking questions whether the party was satisfied with the explanation by Tharoor, they said that with the Income Tax authorities quizzing IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi in Mumbai and launching an inquiry into ownership of different teams, the Prime Minister would be having the facts in the case.
A senior minister who did not want to be quoted said Tharoor was a "live bomb" for the party.
(With PTI inputs)