Under pressure over the ongoing CD controversy, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Singhvi today resigned as the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice and party spokesperson.
Singhvi sent his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi a day before the resumption of the Budget Session to preempt Opposition outcry on the issue. A well-known lawyer, Singhvi was the vice-chairman of the Congress media department and headed the parliamentary panel that was in the news last year for redrawing the controversial Lokpal Bill.
Although Singhvi has repeatedly maintained that he has been falsely implicated in the case, the wide circulation of the video content on social networking sites had put the party in a tight spot. With an aggressive Opposition all set to corner the Congress on the issue in Parliament, Singhvi’s resignation is an attempt to prevent any embarrassment to the party. The Congress had taken him off the official roster of spokespersons soon after the controversial CD was circulated over 10 days ago.
Singhvi’s decision brought some relief to the beleaguered party. In a quick reaction, Congress media department chairman Janardhan Dwivedi said, “I think he has done the right thing. The party has accepted his resignation.”
However, the Opposition is unlikely to relent and said it would raise the matter in Parliament and press the government for a clarification. Arun Jaitley, Opposition Leader in the Rajya Sabha, said, “If the CD is not morphed, it’s an issue for the ethics committee.” His party would also demand Singhvi’s explanation regarding the reasons for his resignation, he added.
A press note issued by Singhvi said he had informed the Congress president about his decision to resign from the parliamentary standing committee. “I have done this to prevent even the slightest possible Parliament disruption over the purported CDs being circulated about me,” Singhvi said, adding that he did not think it fit to subject the party to any inconvenience on this account. “All allegations are baseless and false,” he claimed.
Singhvi reiterated that the CD is fabricated and morphed. He also accused sections of the media of spreading lies that there is a reference in the CD to the promise of some post. “No one has heard any such a reference in the CD. There is none simply because it does not exist. It is pure imagination,” Singhvi maintained.
He also pointed out that there was a court injunction against the publication and broadcast of the CD while the author of the CD had given an affidavit in the court accepting that the CD was fabricated. “An organised gang has been purposely used by motivated interests to use social sites for sensationalism and permanent damage,” Singhvi said.