NEW DELHI: Former-Union Minister Arjun Singh has endorsed the proposal of a section of Congress functionaries from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for convening a session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) to discuss the crisis facing the party. Talking to reporters, Singh ex. tended support to the demand of an AICC session by remarking somewhat cautiously that, “it can be convened though I have not made any such demand.” Speaking on behalf of the N.D, Tewari group in the UP Congress, Mrs, Mohshina Kidwai, a former Union Minister, has already called for an AICC session. Her demand was echoed by a backward leader in’ MP, Patel, who in a letter to the Congress president suggested that the AICC be convened. The Congress spokesman, Madan Bhatia, on the other hand said that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) alone was empowered to respond to some party men’s demand for disciplinary action against Singh.

Singh, however, refused to set a deadline for calling the AICC, “I am not impatient, Tam not in a hurry,” he said replying to questions. The former Minister is leaving for Gwalior soon in what is being billed by his camp as a show of strength on his first public Outing since his resignation. Explaining the Purpose of his meeting with Kalpanath Rai, another former Minister, a few days back, Singh said that the former had an impression that the Prime Minister had asked for his resignation only under his Pressure, “Rai asked me whether I had pressured the Prime Minister for his resignation. I told him that at no stage, in no manner did I put pressure on the Prime Minister for his resignation,” Singh said.

Asked whether he regarded Rai who had been indicted by the Gian Prakash committee, as “tainted,”

The former Minister said, “I no right to pass judgment on any one. It would be presumptuous on my part to hold any of my colleagues responsible.” He skirted’ another question on whether he viewed any of these indicted ministers Messrs B, Shankaranand, Rameshwar Thakur and Rai corrupt. “It is the prerogative of they; Prime Minister to identify the end-j, users of scam money,” he; significantly remarked, Asked about the rejection of his’ “allegations” by the Council of Ministers, the former Minister’ clarified that his resignation letter) contained no allegations but “is ‘sues’ to which no response had so far come, “So long as they are addressed, my helplessness Continues,” he remarked.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 6, 1995