Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday said Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar’s resignation was absolutely necessary to uphold the integrity of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

At a Meet the Press programme organised by the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild and Press Club of Bangalore, Mr. Karat said Mr. Kumar should resign in the light of the strictures passed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday during a hearing in the coal block allocation scam case.

“I am surprised by the silence of the Prime Minister [over the issue]. A senior official from the Prime Minister’s Office was present in the meeting [where the CBI’s status report was discussed with the Law Minister]. This [the disclosure] was sought to be covered up,” Mr. Karat noted.

Answering a question about insulating the CBI from the political executive, Mr. Karat said the only solution was to bring the agency under the proposed Lokpal system.

Speaking about China’s reported intrusion into Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Mr. Karat said the issue should be taken up at a higher level. With the External Affairs Minister visiting China next week, the issue could be sorted out amicably, he said.

To a question why India should engage in ‘defensive’ diplomacy, Mr. Karat said negotiation was the best way to settle issues. “LAC itself is a matter of interpretation and pending the final solution, we should continue dispute resolution. Unfortunately, some people in this country think military use can solve [the problem]. It is not proper.”

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