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Thursday, August 02, 2001

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One-line denial won't do: Cong.

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, AUG. 1. The Congress today expressed dissatisfaction with the clarification of the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, denying involvement of the PMO in UTI investments.

Referring to Mr. Vajpayee's clarification in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress said the Prime Minister tried to get away with a `one- line blanket denial' which neither contradicted specific charges nor clarified the points raised.

``Let the Prime Minister realise his one-line denial is no better than his silence. He was under a cloud yesterday. The cloud has since thickened and not lifted'', the Congress spokesman, Mr. S. Jaipal Reddy said.

The party also regretted the denial issued by the Prime Minister's Office through the media and said if specific charges were made in Parliament, the reply should be made there.

Referring to the offer of resignation and later retraction by Mr. Vajpayee, the Congress said its perception that it was a political gimmick had been vindicated.

Mr. Reddy said the Prime Minister's personal credibility has been damaged substantially by this kind of `cheap approach' especially since he withdrew the resignation yesterday itself, having called a meeting of the NDA this morning.

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