NEW DELHI: With reports in the media and jokes on social networking sites about a CD involving Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the grand old party had to give up its ‘we-don’t-know anything about it’ stance on Wednesday.
It acknowledged the controversy to the extent of calling it Singhvi’s “personal matter”. As for the missing Singhvi at the party’s daily press briefing, the Congress claimed, “He’s not well.”
Singhvi has been absent from the briefings since Monday, since the rumours about the sleaze tape started doing the rounds. The absence was apparently due to “cold”—not cold feet—that he developed, and he communicated his condition to the party’s media cell.
So with great discomfort, fellow Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi on Wednesday said, “At this moment, we can only say this much that he (Singhvi) was not available for briefing on Monday. He was not well.”
Asked whether Singhvi has been dropped from the Congress spokesperson’s roster for the daily briefing, Alvi claimed, “The question does not arise—you can find out next Monday,” implying Singhvi was very much on board.
An ace lawyer and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Singhvi, himself said as much—that he was “indisposed”. However, sources in the party said that there’s little option for him but to take a “sabbatical”—and it will not be the first time. It will be embarrassing to have him around to answer prying questions.
Singhvi was taken off the Congress spokesperson’s duties for a few months before the Kerala elections. This was when he rubbed the local unit the wrong way by accepting the brief of a lottery kingpin against whom the KPCC was agitating.