Cong parries questions on controversies relating to Ministers

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Congress today found itself ona sticky wicket on the faux pas by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, controversial remarks by Home Minister PChidambaram and a party MP accusing a Supreme Court judge ofcorruption.

"What more I can say about it. Minister of ExternalAffairs has already explained this...I do not think party hasat this stage anything to add or subtract," partyspokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters when asked aboutKrishna reading the speech of his Portuguese counterpart atthe UN.

Tewari also steered clear of Home Minister PChidambaram''s statement that there was indeed a governancedeficit in some areas.

"If Home Minister has said something while givingreply to a question in some context during an interview, it isbetter that this question should be asked to him because itwas his interview," Tewari said.

Against the backdrop of a rash of scandals, HomeMinister P Chidambaram has said there is indeed a governanceand ethical deficit in some areas but to conclude that theyhave surfaced only now now will be totally wrong.

In an interview to the ''Wall Street Journal'' daily, hesaid, "I think we should take serious note of the concernsexpressed by the captains of industry and business. There isindeed a governance deficit in some areas and perhaps there isalso an ethical deficit."

The Congress spokesperson also refused to comment onthe charge by a party MP in Kerala K Sudhakaran that an apexcourt judge was allegedly bribed several years ago saying itis an "issue between him and the institution he addressed".

"If at all an MP has made those observation, it is anissue between him and the institution he has addressed. Ido not think it is appropriate for the Congress to comment onit," he said with a caveat "we have the highest regards forall institutions and especially the judiciary."

He, however, refused to answer repeated queries onwhether any action would be taken against the MP saying "myanswer says it all."

The party also adopted the same play safe strategy onthe issue of the detention of Pakistani singer Rahat FathehAli Khan in connection with alleged seizure of a huge amountof foreign currency.

"A probe is going on. I do not think anybody shouldcomment on it when probe is on. It should be allowed to becompleted," Tewari said.

Tewari parried questions on whether the party istrying to rope in Vijaykant-led DMDK in Tamil Nadu sayingunnecessary speculation is not required when there is alreadya mechanism in place discuss seat sharing between Congress andDMK and interactions in this regard are under way.

On RSS demanding a probe of alleged conspiracy to killits leaders, Tewari said,"if RSS is responsible organisation,it will be better if they cooperate in probe and do not try toblur the issue by saying this or that." PTI AMR SPG

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