Shourie lying about meeting PM over 2G: Congress
The Congress on Friday rebutted former telecom minister Arun Shourie's reported claim that he had apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the spectrum scam, claiming it was a 'travesty of truth'.
"It is most unfortunate and most regrettable that such sweeping allegations were made against a person of impeccable integrity like the prime minister. It is a travesty of truth and a conscious attempt to mislead and misinform, confuse and confound," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
Maintaining that there was 'absolutely no communication' of any kind as such by the concerned person with the prime minister or the Prime Minister's Office, Singhvi questioned the timing of the revelation by the former minister.
"Why were such sweeping allegations made only after the one-man committee chaired by Justice Shivraj Patil submitted a report, which has catalogued certain illegalities and irregularities by successive governments in last eight-nine years as far as bureaucracy and ministers of their departments are concerned," he said.
Image: Arun Shourie
Photographs: Rediff Archive
'Why didn't Shourie speak up earlier?'
"Why should the former minister take that report so personally that instead of defending himself, he is attacking the prime minister without any basis of facts," Singhvi said.
To a specific question on whether he is denying Shourie's claim of meeting the prime minister on the issue, Singhvi said, "I have said there was no communication, which means all types of communication."
He, however, refused to entertain queries on whether he has verified the genuineness of the allegation from the PMO, but stressed that he was speaking on behalf of the Congress party.
Singhvi said the fact that Shourie was raising the issue after so much time raised serious questions about his true motive.
The Congress spokesperson questioned that if Shourie had such facts, why didn't he bring the issues in public domain much earlier?
Image: Abhishek Singhvi
'BJP trying to divert attention'
"Is it not to divert attention, to digress from the issue whether for himself or for the BJP? Instead of diverting or digressing, the BJP should have enquired, as this government has done, irrespective of the political colour of the specific government," he said.
Shourie had told a newspaper, "A person very close to the deals started giving out a detailed account of all the companies that received undue favour. Armed with those details (of front companies), I met the PM in the Rajya Sabha around August-September 2009."
"I told the PM, showing him details and papers in the Rajya Sabha corridor, 'please have a look at these details. There is a loot going on in your name and all the evidence is here'," Shourie had said.
Image: India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the media
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
'Shourie making wild claims to create sensation'
Shourie had reportedly said that he then asked the PM if he could call on Principal Secretary T K A Nair to give these details.
When no call came for over a month, "I contacted the then Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ashwini Kumar. Despite receiving death threats, the individual I introduced was ready to give out all the information. When I asked the CBI why it was not acting (against former telecom minister A Raja), I was told they were waiting for the PMO's nod," he had said.
Singhvi claimed that the former minister's claim was 'totally false' and such 'wild allegations' have been made 'deliberately to create sensation'.