In a show of support, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday led a march expressing solidarity with former prime minister Manmohan Singh, and said he was a man of “integrity” and had the “unstinting support” of the party.
The BJP on the other hand said not just an individual but the entire Congress party should take responsibility for the coal block allocation case in which Manmohan Singh has been summoned by a special court here.
Sonia Gandhi led members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and members of the Congress Working Committee in the march from the Congress party headquarters to Singh’s house.
“We are outraged at the news of summons being served to former prime minister Manmohan Singh… He is known for his integrity and probity not only in the country but across the world. We are here to offer our unstinting support to Manmohan ji,” she told reporters here.
A special court conducting the coal block allocation case here on Wednesday summoned Singh, industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former coal secretary P.C. Parakh, terming the case a “criminal conspiracy” with the objective to “do an illegal act”.
Senior party leader and former minister in the UPA-II government, Anand Sharma said that nobody could question the transparency and honesty of Singh and the truth shall prevail.
“The Congress party is with Manmohan Singh ji and the party is not going to bow to any situation… We have full faith that in this case too the truth will prevail,” Sharma said.
Another party leader and former defence minister, A.K. Antony, who was part of the march, said they were sure that Singh will come out clean.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, a sitting Congress MP from Madhya Pradesh, said: “We express our solidarity with the ex-prime minister. We are very confident that he will emerge clean, something that he remained during his public life.”
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “It is not the question of questioning the integrity of Manmohan Singh ji. It is the question of responsibility and failure of not taking action”.
“Manmohan Singh…will give his version but at the same time the Congress needs to explain to the country how these things have happened. It should take the responsibility (of the coal block allocation case) and not just an individual alone,” he said.
Development of North Eastern Region Minister Jitendra Singh said: “I would simply say…all of us should have the courage to accept the verdict in course of law. The world knows that India has one of the best constitutions and anything contradicting to it would amount to disrespect to the legal system.” (IANS)