Reacting sharply to former Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal's allegation that the Central Bureau of Investigation raids on certain coal firms were staged, the Congress on Thursday demanded evidence from the anti-graft activist.
Interacting with reporters in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said Kejriwal must withdraw his statement if it is bereft of evidence.
"If at all the person who has articulated such an argument has evidence, I think it is incumbent upon him to put it in the public domain. If he has just shot from the hip, then it is appropriate that the statement should be withdrawn, because it neither serves the cause of public discourse, nor the cause of responsibility, to make such irresponsible utterances," Tewari said.
Congress leader Jagdambika Pal too dismissed Kejriwal's allegations as trivial, saying that the activist has a habit of making irresponsible statements.
"Given the kind of irresponsible statements Kejriwal makes every day, I believe that even this time, he has done the same to mislead the country," Pal said.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal tweeted that coal firms raided by the CBI had been informed in advance to help them hide incriminating evidence.
Kejriwal said that he had received an e-mail from an officer of one of the raided companies, mentioning a tip-off before the raids took place.
The Central investigating agency conducted raids on the offices and homes of officials named for their role in getting undue favours in the allocation process on Tuesday, including those of the lawmakers from the ruling Congress party.The Comptroller and Auditor General report suggested private companies had made windfall gains of about Rs.1.86 lakh crore owing to the underpriced sale of coalfields between 2004 and 2009.