Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari on Friday served a criminal defamation notice on Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh for implicating him in the allocation of a coal block to BJP Rajya Sabha member Ajay Sancheti by the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh government.
The 3-page notice served by his lawyer Balendu Shekhar of Delhi asks Singh "to issue public apology and withdraw your defamation statements" within three days or face prosecution for criminal defamation.
The notice says "such scandalous, fabricated, defamatory and reckless allegations have been made with ulterior motives and wrongful intent to malign and tarnish the image of my client."
Digvijaya, however, stood ground, claiming he had not levelled any allegations but only revealed the facts to expose the BJP's double standard in trying to corner the government in the alleged coal scam.
He had stated on September 3 and again on September 12 that Sancheti was a "business partner" of Gadkari whose company SRS Infrastructure was given a coal mine by the Chhattisgarh government on its single bid to benefit it with Rs 490 crore.
Digvijaya had also alleged that the block was allotted to Sancheti at Rs 129 per tonne when the adjoining coal block was given at Rs 530 per ton.