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No instructions to MPs to resign: Cong

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) The Congress Party today said it has not issued any instruction to MPs to resign or not to resign in the wake of Party President Sonia Gandhi quitting the membership of Lok Sabha and also as Chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC) on the issue of "office of profit." ''There is no question of Congress leaving any instruction to resign or not to resign,'' Party Spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi said in reply to a question 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 it 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 plane.

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.'' On a question 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 office of profit ''is an important and larger critical issue,'' and favoured an all party meeting to discuss the issue. ''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 egg on their face. They should have apologised to the people and the Congress Party. Instead, the Opposition BJP had been unleasing a misinformation campaign based on many assumptions.

Mr Singhvi said the rare example of sacrifice set by Mrs Gandhi by resigning from the two positions has caused a deep setback to the Opposition hungry of power, something which the Opposition is 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 RP BD1850

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