Some searching questions were put to Law Minister Ashwani Kumar at a party briefing here to discuss how to go about defending him and the government in wake of the raging controversy over CBI status report in the coalgate.
The Law Minister is learnt to have told party spokespersons and senior leaders including those who represent the party in television debates that he has done “no wrong” and hence there should be no shyness in countering opposition charges.
The briefing was attended by Union Ministers Jairam Ramesh,Pawan Kumar Bansal,Jayanthi Natarajan,Rajiv Shukla,Manish Tewari,and party leaders Janardan Dwivedi,Mohan Prakash,Raj Babbar,Girija Vyas and party spokespersons Sandip Dikshit,Rashid Alvi and Renuka Chowdhary.
In the meeting,Kumar is learnt to have told the party leaders that there was no wrong in his meeting the CBI Director as it was well under his jurisdiction and that the Law Minister is the counsellor of CBI.
Some of those present,however,pointed out that since perceptions matter in politics,the controversy is creating trouble and it is indeed getting difficult to put up a defence.
One of the leaders said that even if minor changes were made in the draft report of the CBI,this will give an impression in the public that the agency prepared the report as per the government’s instructions.
The sources said that the Law Minister,however,said that he had not called the CBI Director in the meeting and did not know that he brought the status report.
He is also learnt to have told them that the meeting was called by Attorney General G E Vahanavati in his chamber and that he was only trying to solve the dispute between the Attorney General and Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval.
There was also a view that the Law Minister should clarify the matter in public. A Union Minister opposed it but wondered that since proceedings in both the Houses are stalled,how will Kumar clarify his position.
There was a general view after the meeting that the Minister should lay his statement on the floor of the House.