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If Mulayam is corrupt, so is Sonia: Amar Singh

If Mulayam is corrupt, so is Sonia: Amar Singh

Publication: Free Press Journal
Date: February 10, 2009

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh on Monday lashed out at the Congress, saying if his party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was charged with corruption, "so could Sonia Gandhi or even Manmohan Singh", signalling further strain in their already troubled alliance talks.

Amar Singh said: "Just because of a court case, does anyone become corrupt? I may also turn around and say that (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi is corrupt, and so is (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh." Singh was referring to a case of disproportionate assets pending in the Supreme Court against Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members, which is to come up for hearing on Tuesday.

The petition against Mulayam Singh was filed by a lawyer and a former Congress member, Vishwanath Chaturvedi, in the apex court on Nov 29, 2005, charging the Samajwadi Party president and his family members with possessing assets beyond their known sources of income.

Chaturvedi had demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which was subsequently ordered. The agency is yet to file its report before the court.

Amar Singh also accused the Congress of using the CBI as a leverage against his party chief during the current seat-sharing talks. "We supported the Congress-led government which has crossed all limits to fix its opponents," he said at a hurriedly called press conference. Complaining that the CBI had got the case registered on the basis of a PIL without verifying it, he said, "If I claim that Taj Mahal belongs to Manmohan Singh and India Gate belongs to Rahul Gandhi, will a disproportionate assets case will be registered"? Singh demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, the Congress and the CBI should prove that the alleged assets, including a cinema hall and a hotel, belong to Mulayam Singh. Reacting to his charge, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said the CBI is an autonomous organisation reporting directly to the Supreme Court and Congress had no hand in the matter. Amar Singh said SP would not have supported the Congress in July had the facts come to light earlier.

The SP leader said his lawyers would move the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking a probe by a court-appointed Charted Accountant into the disproportionate assets case being investigated by CBI. "If Mulayam Singh Yadav is found guilty, he should be arrested and tried in the court," Singh added. "It is my demand and a challenge. If it is proved that the properties belong to Yadav, then he (Yadav) has no right to continue in public life. He should be arrested," he said. Amar Singh drew other parallels. He said, "The Left parties were good when they were supporting the UPA. When they withdrew support, a case was registered against Pinirayi Vijayan (CPI-M leader) in Kerala. When seat-sharing talks with NCP ran into rough weather, Praful Patel (Civil Aviation minister) was targeted...It is not a coincidence that we have CBI's sword hanging over us when we are having seat-sharing talks with the Congress. We are not scared of the CBI."

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