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Coal report: Congress backs Ashwani,CBI claims it is under no pressure

Congress looks to downplay reports of minister meeting the PM.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 16, 2013 9:28:19 pm

Amid reports that Law Minister Ashwani Kumar met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday,the CBI said it was not under “any pressure from any quarter” to change the affidavit it has to file before the Supreme Court regarding its investigation into the allocation of coal blocks.

Meanwhile,the Congress rejected demands for the minister’s resignation and downplayed reports of his meeting with the PM. “There is no question of resignation,” said party spokesperson Rashid Alvi.

“I have no idea if the Prime Minister called a minister or the minister himself. But it has no great meaning. If ministers do not meet the Prime Minister,who else do you expect them to meet? There is no great thing in his meeting the Prime Minister,” Alvi said.

Kumar could not be reached today despite repeated attempts.

The BJP had yesterday demanded Kumar’s resignation,following The Indian Express report that the CBI’s status report on the coal blocks controversy was vetted by the Law minister and officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

In its statement today,the CBI said: “Reports have been and are being published/ telecast in a section of the media,speculating about the nature and content of an affidavit to be filed by the CBI before the Supreme Court in connection with the coal allocation probe. It is reiterated that the CBI is yet to file the said affidavit. The CBI will strictly abide by the directions of the Supreme Court,and is not under any pressure from any quarter.”

CBI director Ranjit Sinha is learnt to have engaged senior advocate U U Lalit as his private lawyer to file the affidavit in the Supreme Court.

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