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No instructions to Cong MPs to resign: Singhvi

By Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) The Congress today said it has not issued any instruction to MPs about their resignation in the wake of party president Sonia Gandhi quitting as member of the Lok Sabha and also as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) on the office of profit issue.

''There is no question of Congress leaving any instruction to resign or not to resign,'' party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said when asked if the resignation of ICCR Chairman Karan Singh and a few others were in response to a party direction.

''There may be some natural spontaneous action. However, they are not part of any organised decision at the party level,'' he said.

''We are not here propagating any theory of competitive resignation,'' he said when asked if the party would demand the resignation of ''vulnerable'' MPs from other political parties facing disqualification for holding offices of profit.

Dr Singhvi said the twin-resignation of Ms Gandhi was her own personal decision...a decision on moral grounds.

Asked if her continuance in the Lok Sabha and NAC would have legal backing, he said, ''Legal obligation is one and moral decision is another.'' In this context, he said, the ''opposition party would not have thought even remotely of leaving a seat in the bus''.

Asked if the government had any plan to promulgate the proposed ordinance to exclude certain posts from the definition of ''office of profit'', he said, ''Nobody had seen even draft of ordinance dealing with the post of NAC. There is nothing resembling ordinance to protect the post of the NAC.'' Dr Singhvi said the matter of office of-profit was ''an important and larger critical issue'', and favoured an all-party meeting to discuss it.

''If everybody thinks that things are to be set right, an all-party discussion will ensue,'' he added.

He said the resignation of Ms Gandhi had left the opposition with eggs on its face. They should have apologised to the people and the Congress party, instead, the opposition BJP had been ''unleashing a misinformation campaign based on many assumptions'', he alleged.

Mr Singhvi said the ''rare example of sacrifice'' set by Ms Gandhi by resigning from the two positions had caused a setback to the opposition hungry of power, something which it was unable to understand. ''Those who have been responsible for the disintegration of their own parties should get drowned in the Ganges, though the river itself can not wash off their misdeeds.'' UNI SH/YS LR BS1836

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