Deshmukh row: NCP says Maharashtra Home Minister won't resign; Kamal Nath meets Sharad Pawar

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Sunday said it would not be fair on its part to comment on the controversy that erupted after ex-Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh accused Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of graft as the NCP and the chief minister are looking into it.

Steering clear of making a direct comment on the matter, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the issue concerns Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the NCP as the minister in question is from that party.

Attempting to deflect questions concerning Maharashtra, Singhvi raised the issue of graft charges against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to accuse the BJP of hypocrisy and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the mater.

He asked why the prime minister and Home Minister Amit Shah have not uttered a word about the corruption allegation against Yediyurappa, even when there have been three judgments from the high court in this regard.

“We want Yediyurappa to resign immediately,” the Congress spokesperson said.

On the developments in Maharashtra, he said the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is one and NCP leader Sharad Pawar is addressing charges against Deshmukh, who belongs to that party.

“Sharad Pawar has commented on what is essentially concerning a minister from that part of the coalition. I think it would not be fair for me to say anything, much of what has been said by Pawar in consultation with the CM.”

“But whatever has been left out, you would have to approach Maharashtra’s Congress in-charge H K Patil,” he told reporters when asked to clear his party’s stand on the issue.

Singhvi said Patil has been requested to deal with this and he can be approached in this regard.

“Primarily, this issue concerns the NCP and the chief minister. The Aghadi government is one. Pawar has spoken, Patil will speak tomorrow. Wait for some more time, as you have received silence on the issue of Yediyurappa,” he said.

Asked about BJP accusing the Congress of hypocrisy for not speaking on the Maharashtra issue, Singhvi said, “Has Modi made a comment on Yediyurappa, even after three briefings by me. There has been no briefing or comments from him. Has the Home Minister (Amit Shah) even bothered to talk about Yediyurappa.”

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The Congress spokesperson said the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition Sharad Pawar has already spoken and he will be giving a more detailed statement by tomorrow and the chief minister is already looking into it.

“Which of these has happened with Mr Modi qua Mr Yediyurappa? He has become a ‘mauni baba’ on this issue?” Singhvi posed.

On the BJP’s charge that Udhav Thackeray has lost the moral authority to rule, the Congress leader said, “I will agree with him after the facts come out. But till then, substitute the word Uddhav Thackeray with Yeddyurappa and just kindly put the poster back in his drawing-room. I request him to use the same sentence and put the name of Yediyurappa as there are three orders of the High Court.”

Singhvi alleged that Yediyurappa has the guts to go to the Supreme Court to get an interim order for not being arrested and continues to “stick” to his seat.

“We have not even heard a whisper from anybody in the BJP which gives us lectures on morality every day. The contrast is clear,” he said.

“The hypocrisies and double-face is underlined in fact by the totally different conduct of the two parties,” he said pointing out inaction on the part of the BJP leadership on the alleged corruption charges against Yediyurappa.

Singhvi accused the Karnataka chief minister of having crossed limits of shame and alleged that he has no morality left in holding on to the post when there are three High Court orders for trying him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“We cannot allow political thick-skinnedness to take us for granted. People’s indifference becomes a breeding ground for corruption and it is to shock you out of your indifference that we speak to you through the media,” he said.

The Congress leader claimed the fear of losing power is corrupting and alleged that Yediyurappa is hanging on to the chief minister’s seat without regard to morality and political decency.

“Is this the moral plane on which the chief minister can sit on his seat? Is this the morality of the prime minister who never asks him to leave? Is this the principal stand of the home minister who does not remove him? “Is this the Nelsonian blind eye of the party to which he belongs which will not touch him? Is this the naked, shameless lust for power that makes people stick on and parties ignore everything? This is the worst form of breeding down of corruption. It clearly exposes the unethical, unscrupulous and untrustworthy nature of the BJP,” Singhvi said.