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PM defends Judeo in Rajya Sabha
December 16, 2003 22:20 IST
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha that nothing has come out of the Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the cash-on-tape scam involving Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Singh Judeo.
"The probe is on. The VCD is not clear and on the basis of it, it is difficult to make a case," he said. "I am not hiding anything nor am I trying to mix anything. We have to wait for the outcome of the probe."
The government is not trying to make a distinction between the Judeo case and the Ajit Jogi case, in which the CBI has already registered a first information report, the PM said.
Vajpayee also dismissed allegations that Deputy Prime Minster Lal Kishenchand Advani stage-managed the Jogi episode.
The Judeo VCD has been sent for forensic examination and a report is expected soon, he said.
The identity of one Rahul being named in the VCD has not been established and Judeo and his former aide Natwar Rateria have appeared before the CBI twice, but there is nothing on the basis of which an FIR can be lodged, he added.
In the case involving former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, Vajpayee said, a BJP leader, Virendra Pandey, had lodged an FIR since he had received Rs 45 lakhs from Jogi to split the party.
He also described the two cases as a "disgrace and a black spot" on the Indian democracy.
Jogi and Judeo stand "accused" before the people and "I cannot express in words how upset I am", he said.
"What is happening in the country? Which direction are we going in? Please do not take it in terms of government versus opposition. I have a political career spanning 40 years and nobody has ever pointed a finger at me for financial irregularities," he said.
"I am the prime minister because of the blessings of the people. But now it is highly unpleasant for me to see that leaders of two political parties are being accused and I have to stand here to speak on the episodes."