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Natwar Singh lashes out at PM, calls him weak, may take him to court

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 9 (UNI) Weighing his options to chart a future course of action, former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh today lashed out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing him as ''a weak Prime Minister with no backbone'' and said he might even take him to court over the Justice Pathak report.

''It gives me no pleasure to say that he is a weak Prime Minister, who is unable to stand for his colleagues,'' he told CNN-IBN in an interview.

Mr Natwar Singh had a meeting with Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh soon after his party's disciplinary action against him. The two discussed the latest political developments, SP sources told UNI.

They said that Mr Singh, who is not in the capital, is coming back tomorrow and would see the suspended Congress leader again.

Mr Natwar Singh said if his lawyer agreed, he could be slapping cases against the Prime Minister, Justice Pathak as well as two Union Ministers.

The BJP reasserted that it would press for a discussion on the Privilege Motion against the leak of the Pathak Authority report, failing which it would not allow other proceedings in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

BJP Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra said, after a meeting of senior BJP leaders in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha held at the residence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee this evening and reiterated the party's demand that Dr Manmohan Singh apologise for the leakage of the Pathak Panel's report to the media before it was laid in Parliament which was in session.

The BJP said the Congress had suspended Mr Natwar Singh just to save its president Sonia Gandhi who is also allegedly involved in the Iraqi oil-for-food scam.

Talking to UNI, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, ''Desert the man when the charges come to Sonia, that is the typical Congress culture but the real question is about the Congress coupons which were traded.'' The Congress also decided to serve a showcause notice on Mr Singh, asking him to explain the notice for a privilege motion given by him in the Rajya Sabha against the Prime Minister for the leak of the Justice R S Pathak Inquiry Authority report.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) president B D Kalla said the state party unit is with the central leadership in initiating disciplinary action against Mr Natwar Singh who belongs to the desert state.

The Left parties, however, ruled out the possibility of any ''broader understanding'' with the suspended Congress leader, saying this would depend on his future course of action.

Talking to UNI, the leaders of the CPI (M) and CPI said Mr Singh's suspension was essentially the internal matter of the Congress.

CPI Floor leader in the Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta said ''We do not foresee, as yet, any future understanding with him.'' As many as 33 MPs, belonging to Mr Amar Singh's Samajwadi Party and to AIADMK and TDP, have supported Mr Natwar Singh's breach of privilege notice against the Prime Minister given in the upper house over the leakage issue.

Mr Singh, who was indicted by Justice Pathak for ''misusing'' his position as a leader of the Congress to recommend ''a certain individual and his company'' to the Iraqi authorities for oil contracts, said he had been ''let down'' by the Congress, which suspended him as well as serve a show cause notice why he should not be expelled from the party.


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