Congress spokesman and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Thursday announced his decision to withdraw from the lottery case in Kerala after his appearance at the High Court kicked up a big row in the Congress.
Youth Congress activists had waved black flags and senior leaders complained to the party brass after Singhvi appeared for the promoters of lotteries from outside the state. The state Congress has been spearheading a big campaign against outside lotteries.
“I wasn’t aware of the controversy here. I appeared in the case not as a party spokesman. In view of the general sentiment I have decided to withdraw,” he said in Kochi.
Reiterating that he was appearing for Bhutan government in the case, he said his appearance had nothing to do with politics. “I am a lawyer. It is my profession. I came to know about the controversy once I landed.”
The lottery issue has snowballed into a major controversy with Congress leaders alleging that the Left Front government was soft towards outside lotteries and allowing them to siphon-off huge amounts evading tax.
The Congress-led UDF has taken it up as one of the major issues for the upcoming civic polls. After Singhvi’s appearance, many leaders admitted that they lost much leverage.
Earlier in the day, Singhvi had maintained that he would not withdraw. He had said that it was purely a legal challenge. But strong signals from the party brass forced him to retract later.