"The Pathak Inquiry Authority has sacrificed me and my son Jagat Singh"
"The Congress is not letting me speak in Parliament. I will not let Manmohan speak" Says he is a victim of a big international conspiracy
NEW DELHI: The former External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, on Monday launched an offensive against the United Progressive Alliance Government, accusing it of being "vicious and vindictive." He said he would not allow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to speak in Parliament, as he was being denied an opportunity to do so.
Mr. Natwar Singh asserted that he had not done anything wrong and vowed to wage his battle both inside and outside Parliament.
"Natwar will never become weak. I have never committed any wrong. I will fight inside and outside Parliament. The Congress is not letting me speak in Parliament. We will not let Manmohan Singh speak. I will not surrender. My struggle will continue," he told journalists outside his residence here after a meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh and Janata Dal (United) leader Digvijay Singh.
"I am a victim of a big international conspiracy. The Pathak Inquiry Authority had sacrificed me and my son Jagat Singh."
Mr. Natwar Singh said he had written a letter to Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekawat,
seeking permission to place in the House a copy of the affidavits he had filed with the Pathak Inquiry Authority and also give a personal explanation at the earliest opportunity. "I want to vindicate my reputation as a member of the House."
The Authority's findings were "political[ly] biased." The report contained contradictions. While stating that there was no material to show that he derived any financial or personal benefit from the contract, it maintained that he was a non-contractual beneficiary insofar as he influenced and facilitated contract procurement. "This caused avoidable damage to my reputation and prestige as a member of the House."
His notice of privilege in the Rajya Sabha against the Prime Minister was not against the person but against the office. "The privilege notice is against the Prime Minister of India, which is an office, an institution. There is nothing personal against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh."
It was a question of propriety, as there was only one copy of the Pathak report and "within minutes [of presenting a report to the Prime Minister] it was all over the press."
Asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi introduced him to the Saddam regime, he said it was not true. To a question whether he introduced Andaleeb Sehgal to the regime, he said there was nothing wrong in it and pointed out that then Petroleum Minister Ram Naik had introduced many companies to the Iraqi Government.