Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his deputy Minister of State for Home RPN Singh on Wednesday rejected the allegation levelled by 2007 Ajmer blast accused Bhavesh Patel that they had pressured him to implicate top Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries in the case, saying they do not know him.
"I do not know any Bhavesh Patel. I have never met him. If someone takes my name, what can I do," Shinde told mediapersons when asked for comment on the allegation.
In a five-page petition to a National Investigation Agency court, Patel had claimed that meetings were arranged with Shinde, Singh, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and senior Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh who wanted him to name RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and another top functionary Indresh Kumar.
"I deny this totally. Allegations are baseless. I was not even the minister of state for home at the time he was referring to. It has been only 11 months since I took charge in the home ministry," Singh said.
Patel, who was arrested in March, has alleged that Acharya Pramod Krishnan of Moradabad had facilitated his meetings with Digvijay Singh, Shinde, Jaiswal and Singh.
Patel's counsel Bhupendra Singh Chouhan also claimed that his client would make the same statement in court on Thursday. According to the NIA charge sheet, Patel had allegedly provided logistical support to those who carried out the blast inside the dargah.
Patel claimed that he was introduced to Digvijay Singh by Krishnan in his ashram in November 2012 and arranged meetings with Singh and Jaiswal too. Later, Krishnan took him to "some place" in Delhi where Shinde was present.