New Delhi: Stung by a CD purportedly involving him, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Monday resigned from the post of party spokesperson and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
"I have done this only to prevent even the slightest possible Parliamentary disruption regarding the purported CDs being circulated about me”, Singhvi, a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan and also an eminent lawyer said in a statement.
"Since I am a disciplined party soldier, I did not think it fit to subject the party to any inconvenience on this account. All allegations are patently baseless and false," he added.
53- year-old Singhvi, an eminent lawyer and a Rajya Sabha member, sent a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi informing her of his decision ten days after circulation of a CD purportedly involving him.
The CD allegedly features the Congress member in a compromising position in his court chamber which was also posted on YouTube.
However, The Delhi High Court last week had granted a permanent injunction against publishing or distributing the contents of the CD.
Singhvi, who was taken off the AICC briefing last week, said that "canards and baseless" allegations were being spread about alleged inappropriate conversations in the alleged CD.
"People inimically opposed to me, who have assiduously spent over ten days hearing, seeing, amplifying and distilling the CD found no vestige of any reference, not even remotely, to any illegality, corrupt practice or wrongdoing."
Singhvi had claimed that such a CD either did not exist or if it did, it was clearly and obviously morphed, fabricated and forged.
"It is pure imagination, wishful thinking and sensationalism," he said.
Earlier, Mukesh Kumar Lal, Singhvi's former driver had told a Delhi court last week that he got the "distorted CDs" made and circulated. Lal had said the matter was “amicably settled” between him and Singhvi.
Reports say senior party members of Congress have unanimously asked Singhvi to put in his papers to prevent any damage to party’s image ahead of the resumption of the budget session.
Meanwhile, Opposition BJP has sharply reacted to the issue calling it a “serious matter” and expected clarification from Singhvi on the floor of the Parliament for the reasons behind his decision to quit as chairman of the Standing Committee of Law and Justice.
"This is a serious matter and the party has so far restrained itself from speaking on the issue. I hope Parliament will get an explanation from him on his decision to resign," said senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
However, Congress termed Singhvi’s resignation as "the right step" but remained evasive on whether he was directed to do so.
"Abhishek Singhvi has taken the step on the basis of whatever situation has come to the fore. It is the right step," said Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.
Asked whether Singhvi had been directed to resign, Dwivedi was evasive, saying "I think, it does not make much difference."
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal termed the controversy over the CD purportedly involving Singhvi as an “individual issue”.
First Published: Monday, April 23, 2012, 18:31