After row, Singhvi to withdraw from Kerala lottery case

"There was never any intention to have any conflict of interest. However, to avoid any communication gap or controversy, I have decided not to appear in the Kerala lottery case," the eminent lawyer told PTI from Kochi.

Noting that he was appearing for the Government of Bhutan in support of a Central government enactment and regulation of 2010, he said he has, however, decided to withdraw.

His decision came a day after Congress in Kerala faced embarrassment over his appearance in the High Court for promoters of lotteries from outside the state at a time when the party is engaged in a bitter battle against the LDF government over the issue.
While the LDF had seized it as a weapon to strike back at the Congress, embittered Youth Congress workers staged a protest against Singhvi in Kochi, saying his appearance in the case amounted to an "insult" to the party in the state.

The two rival Fronts in Kerala have been engaged in a wordy duel over the lottery issue in the last few months. The UDF has taken it up as one of the major issues against LDF in its campaign for civic polls next month.

Earlier in the day, the senior advocate had continued his arguments in the court and had even said there was no question of backtracking from the case.

He had said his appearance in the case for Bhutan government has nothing to do with politics. "It is purely an abstract legal challenge. Nobody has to teach me Congress values and issues. I have always been a loyal Congress worker," he had told reporters in Kochi.

The state government has maintained that it is upto the Central government to curtail other state lotteries.

As the lottery issue emerged into a big row, LDF government stopped accepting tax advance from promoters of Bhutan and Sikkim lotteries, citing violation of rules, resulting in virtual stoppage of sale of other state lottery tickets.

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