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'I am not speaking againt the PM'

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: August 07, 2006 16:23 IST
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Natwar Singh seemed to back down from his earlier strong stand, when speaking to newsmen just before leaving Parliament after it was adjourned till Tuesday.

"I am not speaking against the prime minister. I am speaking against an institution. It is an issue of propriety and I have raised my voice against that," he said.

He categorically denied that he on his own had any plans to leave the Congress. "If  the Congress decides that I should be out, then I will have to abide by it," he said.

He refused to divulge the details of the statement he might make in the house if the Rajya Sabha Chairman gives him permission to speak.

"If the Chairman says there is no breach of privilege in the leakage of the Pathak report, then I will accept it. There is no question of disputing it," he said.

Asked if he has accepted what was said in the Pathak report, he said it had vindicated his position that he was not involved in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.

As far as introducing people is concerned, he said ambassadors abroad also introduce people to the administration of the countries they are posted in. "Ministers also do the same. That does not mean anything," he said.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi