Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi quit yesterday as party spokesperson and as head of the parliamentary panel on law and justice in the wake of a controversial CD allegedly featuring him.
Singhvi announced his decision to resign from the posts in a statement, in which he said he had quit to prevent “even the slightest possible parliamentary disruption”.
Quick to cash in on the controversy, the BJP said Singhvi should explain in parliament why he had quit as chairman of the parliamentary committee, which is looking into the Lokpal bill, among others. “It is a serious matter and the party has not given any statement on the issue. As he has resigned
from the post of chairman of the parliamentary standing committee, we hope he will make a statement on why has he resigned,” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the matter “is nothing less than a casting couch” and Singhvi should explain.
The Congress MP said in the statement that “canards and baseless allegations” were being spread about an alleged inappropriate conversation in the CD that took the social media by storm following a high court directive that it should not be published or telecast by the mainstream media.
He, accordingly, informed Congress chief Sonia Gandhi about his decision “not to brief the press” and his resignation as chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on law, justice and personnel.
“I have done this only to prevent even the slightest possible parliamentary disruption regarding the purported CD being circulated about me. Since I am a disciplined party soldier, I did not think it fit to subject the party to any inconvenience on this account. All allegations are patently baseless and false.”
Singhvi, an eminent lawyer, accused sections of print and visual media of spreading falsehoods about contents of the CD by repetition and hearsay that there is reference in the CD to the promise of any post and said there was no reference to any illegality, corrupt practice, or wrongdoing.
Congress media cell chief Janardhan Dwivedi said that it did not matter whether the party had sought Singhvi’s resignation or he had quit on his own, but he had taken the correct step. While party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said Singhvi had resigned on “moral grounds” despite a court injunction against releasing the contents of the CD.
Alvi also attacked BJP over its MLAs and Ministers in Gujarat and Karnataka having allegedly watched a porn video inside the respective assemblies, saying the opposition party should not give lessons on morality.
What’s the truth behind ‘dirty picture’?
The Bar Council of Delhi said that the sleaze CD controversy surrounding Abhishek Manu Singhvi has lowered the dignity of the legal profession. Rajiv Khosla, former president of the Delhi Bar Association, said, “Such incidents cause a great damage to the whole legal institution and cannot be taken as an isolated incident concerning only an individual.” He added, “The lawyers, therefore, are interested to get the truth unfolded so that it should be known to everyone as to why the driver of an advocate stoop so low to make a dirty CD.”