Refusing to give in to the BJP’s demand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday ruled out the possibility of his own resignation or that of Union law minister Ashwani Kumar over the coal blocks allocation scam.
A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) admitted that Kumar was given access to a draft status report about the probe in the case, Singh said, “There is no question of the law minister resigning. The matter is now in court and is sub-judice. It is not proper for me to do anything.”
Government sources added that the PM is convinced the interactions between the law minister and CBI officials were strictly in accordance with the rules of official engagement.
Asked about the demand for his resignation, the PM added, “This is not the first time in the past nine years (that the BJP has made the demand). But I would like to appeal to the Opposition to let the Parliament function.”
The BJP, though, stuck to its position that has already resulted in the washout of three days in the Parliament’s ongoing budget session. “We are clear that the Prime Minister resigns first and then we will discuss anything else,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
He also dubbed the PM’s rejection of the demand for Kumar’s resignation as a way to “thank the law minister for saving him in the coal scam”. Singh, however, refused to respond to the allegation. “I would not like to comment on this subject,” the PM said.
The Supreme Court is expected to take a view on the CBI’s affidavit on April 30.