Conspiracy to kill my political career: Buta on son's arrest


Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Buta Singh talks to the media on the arrest of his son Sarbjot Singh by the CBI, in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

Attacking CBI for arresting his son, Sarobjit Singh, Buta Singh said, "CBI can colour anyone's hand and I don't know on whose instigation it is doing this.

"Such attacks have happened on me in past as well. This latest attack is an attempt to kill my whole political life and my political future."

Asked who are behind it, the former Home Minister said "these are political forces" but refused to name them.

Singh also said he is ready to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain his position. "I am prepared to tell my position before the Prime Minister. I will seek an appointment and explain him about it," he said.

Coming out strongly in defence of his son Sarobjit, arrested this morning by CBI's Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly demanding Rs one crore bribe from a contractor to close a case against him in the NCSC, Singh said, "My son did not see, touch or heard the money."

Asked what steps he would take to protect his son, Singh remarked, "I will not beg from the government." He, however, added that he will not accept the argument that his son was guilty and added, "I will fight for him".

Ruling out his resignation over the incident, the NCSC chairman said, "Question for it does not arise."

To repeated questions whether he will resign on moral grounds, Buta Singh said, "The question for it does not arise because I have not committed any such thing... I don't claim to be a great moralist... Why should I quit? "

On whether he would resign if the charges against his son are proved, he shot back, "Why should I pre-suppose? My judgement is right...(If I resign) I will be giving into the (design of) a top criminal of the country."

When pointed out that this time the allegation against his family member is not from media or political persons but from the top investigating agency of the country, the former Home Minister said, "I don't want to comment on CBI. I know CBI very well. CBI cannot level such allegations. These were put into CBI's mouth."

Singh, however, wondered how CBI swung into action in this case without the recommendation of the state government and why it acted so fast on a complaint of an individual.

"As per the practice, CBI takes action only after the state government recommends it, but in this case, a private citizen, who is guilty, petitioned before CBI and it rushed to take up the matter. That person is facing 12 cases," he said.

Singh also denied that he had any talk with the Nasik-based contractor Ramarao Patil who filed the petition, and claimed, "I had in fact written a letter to the Nasik Police Commissioner earlier saying that Patil was trying to offer gratitude to his (Buta Singh's) staff and family members.

Patil is facing a case under the SC/ST Act and it was being probed by the commission headed by Buta Singh.

The contractor had allegedly taken a loan of around Rs 10 crore from a co-operative society on behalf of over 100 people from the Dalit community. He allegedly pocketed the money following which a case was registered against him.

Asked about the alleged deal for getting Patil out of the SC/ST case, Buta Singh said, "Patil sent a former Safai Mazdoor Congress President known to me and to my son."

He, however, categorically denied having ever met Patil and said, "I do not recognize even his voice."

On whether NCSC has the authority to drop any case lodged against SC/ST Act against any indivdual, he said, "Absolutely not. Once we did it, it is over. There is no question of dropping it. No such question arises."

Asked whether he is ready for questioning in the case if CBI asks for it, the NCSC Chairman said, "My rank is of Cabinet minister. I will ask about it from the government if any such situation arises and then I will do the needful."

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