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BJP uses ex-CBI chief`s book to attack Cong

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 21:02

New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday used the claims made by former CBI director A P Mukherjee in his new book on defence deals row by seeking to know from Congress if it had diverted kickbacks for political purposes and whether the practice still continues.

"Today, when the discussion about political funding is widespread, it is a revelation that Congress had encouraged replacement of middlemen with political cadres. Whilst commissions in large defence deals are illegal, kickbacks were collected and as established in this book, diverted for political purposes," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The main opposition demanded that Congress come clear on the charges made by Mukherjee in his book- "Unknown Facets of Rajiv Gandhi, Jyoti Basu and Indrajit Gupta"- especially in the context of Bofors and HDW submarine deals.

"The financial sinew of Congress has now been laid bare. Is it that Rajiv Gandhi, who apparently stood for a certain value-based politics, also engaged in diverting such funds for political activities?" Sitharaman said.

She alleged Congress has always tried to confuse the people that commissions, and not kickbacks, were paid in the controversial Bofors, HDW submarine deals.

"Did Rajiv Gandhi intend to replace the commercial middlemen with political middlemen? What happened to the tall claims that he had made about cleaning up the top end of the political system?" Sitharaman said.

Claiming that Rajiv Gandhi only paid lip service to the issue, BJP asked if Rahul wants to continue with this politics, "carrying this baggage".

"Rahul Gandhi is also talking about a new politics. His followers project him as the messiah of clean and new politics. Even now several big-ticket corruptions such as Augusta Westland, Coalgate, 2G Spectrum, ISRO-Devas all remain unanswered," Sitharaman said.

She demanded that Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Congress clarify their stand on these issues.

"Instead of falling back on their USP of playing the communal card, it is time for Congress to answer and explain the various kickbacks, their recipients and the utilisation of such monies," BJP said.

First Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 21:02

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