Television

CNN-IBN Exclusive: Natwar Singh finally breaks his silence on the Volcker controversy after four months

New Delhi, April 27, 2006: In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN and CNBC, ex-Union Minister Natwar Singh has finally publicly spoken about the Volcker controversy. Talking to Karan Thapar, Natwar rebutted allegations that he or Jagat have been evasive and perfunctory after the scandal broke.

Natwar Singh had given his resignation in December 2005 following a political storm in the wake of the Volcker controversy. The points Natwar Singh spoke about are:

About Volcker

- His concern that the Authority has asked for a six month extension.

- His refusal to accept that the noose is tightening around his neck.

- His response to the NDTV story that there is a contract between Andaleeb Sehgal and Masefield where Andaleeb's company received US $ 150,000.

- His response to the CNN-IBN story that there is a contract dated August 21, 2001 number M/10/57 where Andaleeb has signed as a director of Masefield.

- His response to Jamil Saidi's interview.

- His rebuttal that there could be any letters written by him to Tariq Aziz introducing Andaleeb and referring to oil transactions.

- His denial that Andaleeb Sehgal, Aditya Khanna and Jagat were fronting for him or he was using them as a shield.

- His response to the fact that all the leaks seem to be about him but not Congress, which is also accused in the Volcker affair.

- His insistence that after Pathak is finished and the ED investigation complete both he and Jagat will emerge unscathed. However, in the middle of this answer he does accept that the prolonged process has damaged his reputation in the public eye.

On the Indo-US nuclear deal, Nepal, Sri Lanka

- The fact that he has reservations which he describes as serious rather than niggling.

- That he is concerned about things Congressmen have said that suggest they want qualitative and quantitative caps on India's nuclear deterrent.

- His concern with the nature of the US presidential waiver which he argues will not be a one-off but will be constantly necessary.

- His concern that the multiple levels of supervision could entrap India into the NPT without India formally signing on.

- His concern that both Senators and Congressmen are seeking quid pro quos in terms of India's relationship with Iran for agreeing to the deal. Here he quotes Condoleezza Rice, Representative Tom Lantos and others.

- His claim that he has been proved right on Nepal.

- His belief that India needs to play a more active role in Sri Lanka.

- His claim that given the troubles in all the neighbours surrounding India this is a real challenge and test for Indian foreign policy

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