'We can't fight terror with Patil as home minister'
SP general secretary Amar Singh lashed out at Home Minister Shivraj Patil, saying the country did not stand a chance of winning the fight against terrorism if men like him were in office.delhi Updated: Sep 25, 2008 17:17 IST
Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh Thursday lashed out at Home Minister Shivraj Patil, saying the country did not stand a chance of winning the fight against terrorism if men like him were in office.
Amar Singh's tirade was in response to Shivraj Patil reportedly refusing to respond to his plea for help when an alleged Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) worker Hashmat Ali tried to blackmail him.
The Samajwadi Party leader claimed Ali came to his residence Thursday morning demanding Rs.50 million to make a statement in his favour before the privileges committee of parliament probing the cash-for-vote scam.
"I called Shivraj Patil but he refused to send the police and instead asked me to register a complaint in the nearest police station," Amar Singh told reporters.
"If men like Shivraj Patil are home minister, then the country cannot fight terrorism," he said.
He claimed that Patil refused to help as he feared that the Congress party would unnecessarily get involved in an incident it wanted to steer clear of.
"If Amar Singh can get such a cold response, I can well imagine the condition of the common man," he thundered.
He added that he had to send one of his assistants to the Tughlaq Road Police Station to register a complaint.
Miffed by Shivraj Patil's attitude, especially as he had defended the home minister over his much discussed dress changes on the day of the Delhi blasts, Amar Singh said he would raise this issue at the coordination committee meeting of both parties.
However, the Samajwadi Party leader did not explain how the BSP party worker was connected to the cash for vote scam and why he had been asked to depose before the parliamentary panel.
The cash scandal came up during the vote of confidence won by the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in July after the Left parties withdrew support over the India-US nuclear deal.
The proceedings were marred when three BJP MPs interrupted the debate on the trust vote by waving bundles of currency notes and cliamed these were bribes offered by the government to them to abstain from the vote.
A seven-member Lok Sabha committee was formed to probe the allegations by three BJP MPs that they had been bribed.