Congress defends Dikshit as BJP demands she resign (Second Lead)

August 6th, 2011 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The Congress Saturday came out in defence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, whose government has been indicted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for irregularities in the Commonwealth Games, even as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called for her resignation.

Dikshit’s defence came after a meeting here of the Congress core group, attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi and other leaders.

On the opposite side, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari demanded the immediate resignation of Dikshit. He accused the Congress of “maintaining double standards and going on the overdrive to save her”.

According to BJP sources, the BJP and other opposition parties are planning to raise the CAG report in parliament Monday and press for Dikshit’s resignation.

Congress leaders said the case of Dikshit and former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who resigned recently following his indictment in a mining scam by the Lokayukta, cannot be compared.

“The report (CAG) says that in some heads money was overspent and it could have been saved. It is not as big that it can be compared to Yeddyurappa or someone else,” said Dwivedi, a member of the four-member high-level team which is to oversee party affairs during the absence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, after the core group meeting.

The party will not readily succumb to the demand of the BJP for Dikshit’s resignation, a senior Congress leader who did not wish to be identified, told IANS.

The party will put its weight behind the chief minister inside and outside the parliament,”at least at the initial stage”, he added.

The party is also awaiting the return of Rahul Gandhi, general secretary, who is abroad attending to Sonia Gandhi who is recuperating after a surgery.

Meanwhile, Gadkari, who was in Guwahati to attend a party function, said: “The BJP demands that Dikshit should resign immediately. She has no right to continue as the chief minister when the CAG has raised the issues regarding irregularities in award of contracts, supply of inferior equipment, delay in awarding contracts leading to escalation of expenditure (for the Commonwealth Games).”

“When the Lokayukta report in Karnataka indicted Yeddyurappa, the Congress demanded his resignation,” he said.

“CAG is a statutory authority. When in its report, it makes one responsible for irregularities, then that person should resign forthwith,” Gadkari added.

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