Coalgate: Congress in a fix over Ashwini Kumar's fate
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The ruling Congress party is in a fix at the moment over the continuance of Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and deliberations are on as to what should be done in the wake of Supreme Court’s scathing criticism of the CBI for sharing its probe report on the coal block allocations with the Law Ministry and the PMO officials.
Reports, Wednesday, said that the top leaders of the party had been deliberating on the issue ever since the apex court made its observations public on the coal scam, and if the sources are to be believed, a decision on Kumar may be taken after the next hearing in the case on May 8.
As opposition mounted its demand for Kumar's removal, sections in the party as well as in the government are said to feel that instead of waiting for the apex court to make more damning observations in the days to come, it will be better if the Law Minister puts in his papers on moral grounds to save the government from further embarrassment.
The issue came up for discussion in a meeting of Congress Core Group where a view is said to have emerged that government will await the May 8 hearing of the Supreme Court on the issue before taking any final view on Kumar, sources said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi chairs the high-power group with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and some senior ministers as members.
Reacting to the court's strong observations, the Congress has reacted with caution on the matter.
"Of course, it is not a pleasant comment for any dispensation, for any composition of the Government," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said on the Supreme Court observations on the issue, a clear indication of the growing discomfiture in the party over the controversy.
The apex court’s shocking observations have put the UPA government in the dock with Harin Raval resigning as the Additional Solicitor General.
The Opposition has, meanwhile, launched an all out attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking for his resignation along with the Law minister's.
But the government managers are buying time. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the accountability will be fixed only after the Supreme Court gives its final ruling. "There's no question of sweeping anything under the carpet once the final order comes," Khurshid said.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the accountability will be fixed only after the Supreme Court gives its final ruling.