I would have quit on moral grounds: Jairam | india | Hindustan Times
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I would have quit on moral grounds: Jairam

Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industries, said he would have “resigned owing moral responsibility” if he were in charge of the Culture Ministry, reports Rakeeb Hossain.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2007 02:36 IST
Rakeeb Hossain

In a fresh twist to the Ram Setu affidavit controversy, Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industries, said he would have “resigned owing moral responsibility” if he were in charge of the Culture Ministry (Ambika Soni is handling the ministry).

The comment is significant as only a day before, an embarrassed UPA government had withdrawn both its affidavits on the Setusamudram project case from the Supreme Court following political storm created by Archeological Survey of India’s (ASI) observations on Lord Ram.

“There are no two opinions about the fact that there were mistakes and shortcomings in the affidavits. Its not just a question of what science says and what I may personally believe.”

“But it’s a question of belief and trust of crores of Indians and hence proper cautions should have been taken before filing the affidavits and the responsibility certainly falls on the concerned ministry.”

“And if you ask my personal opinion, if I were in charge of the culture ministry, I would have resigned owing moral responsibility by now,” said Ramesh on Saturday.

Ramesh even cited example of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on how he had resigned from the post of railway minister after a rail accident “even though he was not driving the engine. But then its personal opinion and I am not at all saying that Ambika Soni should resign.”

He, however, added that its not possible to take responsibility of going through all the pages of all the affidavits being filed by the department at court and the main responsibility lay on those ASI officials who drafted the affidavit. “The minister cannot be expected to go through all the affidavits.”

Praising Sonia Gandhi, Ramesh said the affidavits were withdrawn following pressure from the Congress president on the government.