The Congress on Monday maintained that the “action” for resignation of Shashi Tharoor as Minister of State for External Affairs was based on the prima facie view of facts that were considered credible enough for further investigation.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said he was not obliged to disclose the reasons for the “action” that led to Mr. Tharoor's resignation. All that he maintained was that it was internal proceedings and confidential.

Sources however maintained that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were left with no option as Mr. Tharoor failed to clear all the six conditions of Section 13(1B) of the Prevention of Corruption Act which could hold any public figure guilty of corrupt practices.

Sources pointed out that under the section any person could be held culpable if he or his associates received or extended any kind of benefit in cash or in kind. The only fact that was under doubt in the present case, according to party legal luminaries, was whether there was any link between Mr. Tharoor and one of the stakeholders Sunanda Pushkar.

The party leaders felt that even Mr. Tharoor did no good to himself by making a statement in the Lok Sabha where he admitted to his participation and telephonic conversations that eventually benefited someone. The Congress regarded his role in the entire episode as a “silly blunder.”

Congress leaders also felt that Ms. Pushkar's statements were not well thought out and “pretty funny” in so far as she contradicted her own stand by first claiming that she was not anyone's surrogate but was part of the Kochi IPL team in her professional capacity and then offering to give up her sweat equity when the going became tough for Mr. Tharoor on Sunday. “Her timing was awkward as she lowered not only her own guard but almost acknowledged her proximity to Mr. Tharoor and their common interest in the Kochi IPL team.”

Decisive action: Swamy

Chennai Special Correspondent writes

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on showing decisiveness in the matter of the IPL auction scandal.

In a press release, he said that while many may claim credit for the fate of Shashi Tharoor, the fact is that Dr. Singh exhibited a rare resolve and determination in bringing the matter to its logical end.

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