Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday came out in support of the former Commonwealth Games Committee chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, saying the latter was innocent.

It is for the first time since corruption charges surfaced against Kalmadi that anyone in the Congress has publicly supported him. Mr. Kalmadi is currently in jail.

Mr. Singh said it was the ‘right' of those undergoing trial to be let out on bail. “The judiciary needs to think and it must understand that once the charge sheet is filed and investigation is complete, there is no chance that anyone can influence anything,” he told party workers at the Congress Bhavan here.

Mr. Singh also said the former Maharahstra Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, who resigned in the wake of the Adarsh Society scam, was also innocent. “I am saddened that Ashok Chavan is no longer the Chief Minister. But I personally think that both Chavan and Kalmadi are innocent. The Congress Party has not spared anyone who was charged with corruption: be it our own party Ministers or our allies,” he said.

The reason for such a large number of scams coming out in the public domain, be it Adarsh, CWG or 2G, was because the United Progressive Alliance government gave the people the Right to Information (RTI) Act. “Had it not been for the RTI Act, none of this would be out,” he said.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, he said it was trying to shield its Ministers from charges of corruption. “In spite of the Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde registering a prima facie case against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the BJP has done nothing about it. Nitin Gadkari chooses to call it immoral, not illegal.”

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