The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Congress hopes for a breather

New Delhi, July 19: With the BJP mounting pressure on the Union government to drop Sibu Soren, the Congress leadership is looking to the high court and hoping that it would quash the arrest warrant against him.

“The legal process will take its own course. If the appellate court intervenes and the warrant is squashed, he (Soren) would not be arrested and, therefore, he need not resign from the ministry,” a party spokesman said late this evening amid speculation that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might ask the minister to resign.

Party leaders said in private that Soren’s continuation in the ministry would be difficult if he fails to get the arrest warrant squashed immediately.

While there was no word from the Prime Minister’s Office, the party made a strong political defence of Soren. Party spokesman Abhishekh Singhvi wondered why the court issued the non-bailable arrest warrant against Soren in a 30-year-old case when he never absconded. “It is a case of political vendetta,” he said, blaming the BJP government in Jharkhand.

Soren today met Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee in Parliament House to explain the case.

The minister is understood to have handed over the case documents to the Speaker.

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