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UP cabinet secy refutes Wikileaks claims

September 05, 2011 21:54 IST

Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh on Monday refuted certain claims made by WikiLeaks with respect to his conversation with former United States Charge d'Affairs Peter Burleigh.

While he admits having a chat with the US envoy, he denies having said anything against UP Chief Minister Mayawati, who had, in fact, detailed him to do the talking with Burleigh.

"The US Charge d'Affairs has sought an appointment with the chief minister sometime in May, 2009, but, due to her extremely busy schedule, she entrusted the task of meeting the US envoy to me," he said.

He had a lot of queries about the state and I was able to share various facts. But the manner in which the whole conversation was being made out in a section of the media, which claimed to have sourced it all to WikiLeaks, was absolutely distorted," Singh said here Monday evening.

He was referring to a report appearing in Monday's Indian Express, and attributed to WikiLeaks.

Asked if he had told the US envoy that he saw no possibility of Mayawati emerging as the prime minister in 2009, Singh shot back, "How could I make such predictions."

He however hastened to add, "Yes, on being asked if she could be the prime minister in the event of formation of a third front government, I clarified that such a possibility was remote as Bahujan Samaj Party was not a part of the third front."

Singh further sought to point out, "I further went on to add that it was too early to foresee how the political scenario would shape up in case a third front was actually formed after the election."

As far as Mayawati's stand on the Nuclear policy was concerned, the UP cabinet secretary said, "I told the US envoy that even as the BSP had flatly opposed the Indo-US Nuclear deal in Parliament, it was unlikely that it would impact any change in the country's foreign policy, which was determined only by the dispensation sitting in New Delhi and not by a party ruling in a state."

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Bhartiya Janata Party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi termed the WikiLeaks expose as an "indicator of the large scale rampant corruption and irregularities in the Mayawati regime."

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow