The Congress has accused its detractors in politics and in the media of indulging in “irresponsible” politics and of attempting to “destabilise” the country.

The party dismissed outright the demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whom it described as “spotless,” even as it questioned the National Democratic Alliance's “temerity” in passing a resolution seeking Dr. Singh's resignation.

“People who dream of replacing the Prime Minister have remained ‘Prime Minister-in-waiting' for long,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said here on Thursday, taking a swipe at Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.

This comes in the wake of the publication in The Hindu of damaging revelations made in U.S. diplomatic cables, now on WikiLeaks, which allege that payoffs had been made to MPs to ensure a majority for the Congress-led government in the confidence vote over the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

Attacking The Hindu, Mr. Singhvi stressed that his party was aware of its “legal rights” and had not closed that option — that is, of bringing a privilege motion or filing a defamation suit — to deal with the situation. “It is irresponsible politics and it is irresponsible journalism,” he said. The fact that the party had not yet filed a defamation suit against The Hindu did not mean, Mr. Singhvi said, that the Congress had given a “clean chit to anybody.”

He said the WikiLeaks reports were “unverified leaks without any corroborative authentication” and “outlandish allegations not worth dignifying with a response.”

He asked whether the U.S. State Department, the Opposition or the media would provide evidence to substantiate the accusations made against the Congress.

More In: National | News