Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has two options before him. He could either bring the Congress leadership down or just stick to his earlier stand in the coal scam. Dr Singh who was summoned as an accused in connection with the coal scam will move the High Court against the summons and seek that it be quashed.
In the next couple of days, Dr Singh, some leaders of the Congress and his legal team would strategise on the next course of action. There are two aspects that are being considered for now. Will Dr Singh appear before the court and make his stand clear or will he seek the intervention of the High Court and ask for the summons to be quashed.
Singh will not upset the Congress
While there are several debates and allegations that it was at the behest of some Congress leaders that Dr Singh was led into the coal scam, he still may not upset the Congress leadership. He will take a strong defence in the case and is expected to state what exactly happened, but it is very unlikely that he would name any top Congress leader.
Dr Singh needs the support of the Congress leadership and he is constantly in touch with Kapil Sibal. The two have held several rounds of consultations. The Congress leadership would want no embarrassment for Dr Singh and more importantly ensure that the matter attains a quietus as soon as possible.
Will speak facts
Dr Singh is most likely to present before the court what exactly had transpired. His stand for now is that he had followed the advise of the coal ministry in the allocation of coal blocks to Kumaramangalam Birla.
The former prime minister would state that Kumaramangalam Birla had met him with an application and this was sent to the coal ministry. The coal ministry sent back the file and the former prime minister went by what the ministry had advised, is another defence that is likely to be taken by Dr Singh when he appears before the court.
However his legal team is also preparing another line of defence. When he takes one line of defence there are bound to be cross questions in the court. He would be asked if he had not examined the file and why he had not gone into details before clearing it.
The former Prime Minister has expected this
While the summons to Dr Singh as an accused has become a major point of debate, it did not entirely come as a shock to Dr Singh. He was clearly upset, but he was prepared, a source in the Congress informed OneIndia.
The coal scam had become a major issue and Dr Singh had expected that he would be asked to record his statements. The court proceedings had commenced even before his tenure had ended.
He had started to consult legal experts at that time itself thus indicating that he was expecting this.
In fact after the questioning of several persons by the CBI including T K A Nair, Dr Singh felt that he would be next in line. There were a lot of sessions involving consultation on legal issues during this period, sources also say.