Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde defended outgoing tainted MP Suresh Kalmadi yesterday while speaking to the media at the Congress Bhavan, the party headquarters in the city.
Sushil Kumar Shinde in Pune yesterday. Pic/Mohan Patil
When asked about Kalmadi, Shinde said, "Allegations and counter-allegations will continue. However, till the verdict is announced, how can I call Kalmadi guilty, as the matter is still subjudice?"
He added that people should abide by the 'one is innocent until proven guilty' statement.
However, when asked about Kalmadi's suspension, he sidestepped the question saying the orders for his suspension had come from the higher-ups.
Shinde also took the opportunity to slam the BJP and debunk the Modi wave. Referencing the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he said, "Former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee while campaigning used to pull in huge crowds just like Modi is now.
Then we (Congress) were sure of our defeat. However, the votes were in our favour and we won with a high margin."
The Returning Officer issued notices to NCP's Devdatta Nikam and Rahul Narvekar from Shirur and Maval constituencies respectively for allegedly paying for publication of news in four newspapers. District Information Officer Ravindra Raut said, "The concerned officer sent the report to the Returning Officer and now it is mandatory for both of the candidates to provide their clarification within 48 hours to media monitoring cell."