Asian Age Correspondent
New Delhi, 8 June 2012. Union home ministry P. Chidambaram on Thursday categorically ruled out his resignation in the wake of Madras high court decision in the election petition against him saying the verdict was not a setback for him but for his rival.
Talking to reporters here, Mr Chidambaram said, “I am astonished by the monumental ignorance displayed by certain political leaders. This is an election petition. There are 111 election petitions filed against members of 15th Lok Sabha”. Reacting to the demands of the opponents, he said those who make the demand for his resignation “do not have criminal case, do not have charges and have not been questioned under Criminal Procedure Code”. He ridiculed the demand for his resignation by BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Thursday declined Mr Chidambaram’s plea for dismissal of the election petition against him by the losing AIADMK candidate R.S. Rajakann-appan in Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu in 2009 Lok Sabha polls. But the court struck down two paras in Mr Rajakannappan’s petition containing allegations against returning officer, government and bank officials. He said that the verdict was not a setback for him but for his rival.
Mr Chidambaram said he sincerely hoped that political leaders will read Order 6, Rule 16 of the Civil Procedure Code and understand what is the meaning of “strike out the pleadings”. “If pleadings are struck out, it is a setback to the election petitioner and not to me,” he clarified. He further said, “That application has been partly allowed and para 4 and 5 which contain allegations against returning officer, police officers, other government servants and bank officials have been struck out”.
When asked about the claim of the lawyer for Mr Rajakannappan that except para 4 and 5, all other charges in the petition have been accepted by the court, Mr Chidambaram said “pleadings have not been accepted. Now the trial is to start. Not one witness has been examined so far”. Reacting to Jayalalithaa’s charge that out of fear of facing the case he had moved court for dismissal of the petition only to delay the process, Mr Chidambaram said “Rivals are entitled to make these demands”.