Congress hard put to explain gaffes

Spokesperson throws ball back to individual leaders

inding it tough to defend the acts of the ministers and the MP, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said of Krishna, who read out three paragraphs of the Portuguese foreign minister’s speech at the UN Security Council meeting: "What more can I say about it. The minister of external affairs has already explained this...I do not think that the party has at this stage anything to add or subtract."

Tewari also steered clear of Home Minister P Chidambaram’s statement that there was indeed a governance deficit in some areas.

"If the Home Minister has said something while replying to a question in some context during an interview, it is better that he be asked of this question because it was his interview," Tewari said.

Against the backdrop of a rash of scandals, Home Minister P Chidambaram has said there is indeed a governance and ethical deficit in some areas but to conclude that they have surfaced only now will be totally wrong. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, he had said, "I think we should take serious note of the concerns expressed by the captains of industry and business. There is indeed a governance deficit in some areas and perhaps there is also an ethical deficit."

The Congress spokesperson also refused to comment on the charge by a party MP in Kerala -- K Sudhakaran -- that an apex court judge was allegedly bribed several years ago saying it was an "issue between him and the institution he addressed".
"If at all an MP has made those observationa, it is an issue between him and the institution he has addressed. I do not think it is appropriate for the Congress to comment on it," he said with the caveat that "we have the highest regard for all institutions, especially the judiciary."

He, however, refused to answer repeated queries on whether any action would be taken against the MP saying "my answer says it all."

The party also adopted a play-safe strategy on the issue of the detention of Pakistani singer Rahat Fatheh Ali Khan in connection with alleged seizure of a huge amount of foreign currency.

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