My conscience is clear, says Ashwani

Opposition parties criticise former law minister's stand

My conscience is clear, says Ashwani

A day after he was forced to tender resignation as the Union law minister, Ashwani Kumar on Saturday asserted that he did nothing wrong and quit only to “end an unnecessary controversy.”

Kumar, who quit amid charges of tampering with the CBI report on the coal scam, said in a statement: “I have done so to put an end to an unnecessary controversy in a matter which is before the Supreme Court and in which no adverse comments have been made against me in any manner whatsoever. My conscience remains clear and I believe that I will stand vindicated because divine justice ordains that truth and justice will prevail.  There are certain political decisions that are considered necessary. I did what the prime minister and the party high command thought was appropriate.”

While refusing to comment on whether he has been made a scapegoat, Kumar said: “People of this country, my friends who stood by me, many of you in the media and my esteemed colleagues in the profession know me for what I am. I would rather let them make a judgment.”

Noting that “my conscience remains clear and I believe that I will stand vindicated,” Kumar said whatever the prime minister and the party high command thought fit, “As a loyal foot soldier I have done and I am proud of the fact that I am a loyal foot soldier of the party.”

Opposition rap

Opposition parties were quick to criticise Kumar over his explanation and defence. “What should I say when a former law minister, in spite of stinging observation by the Supreme Court and affidavit by the CBI that no minutes were maintained, is saying there is no adverse report,” BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said.

CPI leader D Raja termed Kumar’s claims “indefensible”. He said: “I don’t agree with him because he is trying to defend his position which is very indefensible, because the CBI itself has admitted there was a meeting with the law minister in which joint secretary-level officials from the PMO were present.”

 It is a question of moral propriety and I don’t know it may be directly linked to cash or some kind of financial corruption, but it is political corruption.”

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