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  • PM: I am ready to face CBI probe

    Published on October 24, 2013

    pmoHolding that he was not above the law, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today offered to face the CBI or “for that matter anybody” in the coal scam probe as he has nothing to hide.

    Singh, who has been under opposition attack after the filing of an FIR by the CBI against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parakh in a coal block allocation case, broke his personal silence for the first time since the controversy broke out 10 days ago.

    “I am not above the law of the land. If there is anything the CBI or, for that matter anybody, wants to ask me, I have nothing to hide,” he told reporters on board his special plane on the way back from China after a two-nation visit.

    He was asked about the clarification issued by the PMO last week that the decision to allocate a coal block to Birla-headed Hindalco in Odisha was appropriate and there was nothing wrong.

    The opposition attacked Singh, saying he was charge of the Coal Ministry at that time and he should subject himself to questioning by CBI.

    Noted industrialists and trade bodies had attacked the CBI action, saying caution should be exercised while dealing with reputed individuals, industrialists and honest bureaucrats.

    Initially, Singh appeared to be reticent in answering a question on whether CBI should be given so much autonomy that an inspector of the agency would be allowed to question the prime minister.

    “Well, let me say, this matter is before the courts and I would not like to comment on it,” he replied. He was asked for his comments about the Supreme Court monitoring the probe in various scams affecting the decision-making process and adding to the government’s image of being struck by “policy paralysis”.

    “I would not like to go into what is happening in the Supreme Court. It is the highest court of the country and I would not like to comment about the court as to what it does or does not,” he responded.

    To a question whether CBI cases and scams were casting a shadow on his legacy as Prime Miniser, Singh shot back, “That is for history to judge. I am doing my duty and will continue to do my duty. What impact my 10 years of prime ministership will have, it is for historians to judge.”

    Govt won’t allow any harm to come to Rahul, says PM

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said government would take all “precautions” to ensure that any threat to Rahul Gandhi does not materialise but voiced concern over the “politics of hatred sweeping the country”.

    “Well, I and all sane persons should be worried about the politics of hatred sweeping the country. As regards to the threat to the life of Rahul Gandhi, government will take all possible precautions that this threat does not materialise,” he told reporters

     

    accompanying him on his return from a two-nation trip to Russia and China. He was asked about Gandhi’s statement yesterday that he could be eliminated like his grand mother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi.

    Speaking at an election rally in Rajasthan yesterday, Rahul has accused BJP of fanning communal flames and indulging in “politics of hatred” and said he may also be assassinated like his grandmother and father, but he was not bothered.

    Modi campaign will wane, Cong will surprise again with win: PM

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Narendra Modi-led BJP campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections “will peak early” and the country will be “once again surprised” by the results that will bring Congress back to power.

    He also rejected a view that the Congress campaign has not been active and that the Gujarat Chief Minister was rising in popularity because of a number of scams during the tenure of UPA-II.

    “Well, I think the Congress party is quite active. I don’t share the view that Congress party is not quite active enough. The BJP may have started early but it will also peak early. Slow and steady, I think, is a thing which sometimes works in public life as well. I am confident that the Congress party will come out victorious in the 2014 elections,” Singh said.

    When asked whether the various scams in UPA, price rise and resignation of two ministers have affected his credibility and Modi’s popularity was rising, the Prime minister shot back, “first of all, I would say that the scams that you are referring to took place not in UPA I but UPA II. “After that we had a general election.

    The Congress party won in that election hands down and I am sure when the results of 2014 elections get out, the country will once again be surprised,” Singh said.