Vajpayee says he is studying Pathak report | india | Hindustan Times
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Vajpayee says he is studying Pathak report

india Updated: Aug 08, 2006 12:59 IST
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Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday said he was studying the Justice RS Pathak Authority report, that has exonerated the Congress party from charges of being an illegal beneficiary in an Iraqi oil contract in 2001.

"I am studying it and will comment on it after arriving at a conclusion," he told reporters after the BJPs' Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi.

The former Prime Minister, however, parried questions regarding NDA's boycott of the Lok Sabha on Tuesday to protest against Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, saying it was an alliance decision.

"The boycott will end today. It is an alliance decision," he remarked.

He also dodged a question regarding his party's charge that the Pathak Authority has made former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh a scapegoat in the Iraqi oil scandal.

"I am a vegetarian," he joked.

The BJP, which on Monday called the findings of the Pathak Authority a "half-truth", on Tuesday dubbed the report a fraud. "It's a fraud, a total cover-up," BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said.

He also announced the start of the NDA's boycott of the Lok Sabha in protest against the Speaker, whom the Opposition has accused of suppressing its voice in the House.

NDA members, wearing gags, held a sit-in demonstration at the Mahatma Gandhi's statue on the Parliament compound led by Leader of Opposition LK Advani.