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Cong dismisses Shourie`s claim of telling PM about 2G `loot`

Last Updated: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 21:49

New Delhi: Congress on Friday rebutted former
Telecom Minister Arun Shourie`s reported claim that he had
apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Spectrum scam
and said it was a "travesty of truth" and is a "conscious
attempt to confuse and confound".

"It is most unfortunate and most regrettable that such
sweeping allegations were made against a person of impeccable
integrity like the Prime is a travesty of truth
and a conscious attempt to mislead and misinform, confuse and
confound," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
Maintaining that there was "absolutely no communication"
of any kind as such by the concerned person to the Prime
Minister or the Prime Minister`s office, Singhvi questioned
the timing of the revelation by the former minister.

"Why such sweeping allegations were 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...".

"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 Prime
Minister`s Office of the government but stressed he was
speaking on behalf of Congress party which is the leading
partner in the UPA government.
Singhvi said Shourie raising the issue after lapse of so
much time raised serious questions about the true motive of
him as well of his party behind bringing the allegations.

The Congress spokesperson questioned if Shourie had the
facts why did he not bring the issues in public domain much
earlier and why the allegations are now being levelled after
passage of such a long time.

"Is it not to divert attention, to digress from the issue
whether for himself or for the BJP? Instead of diverting or
digressing, 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.

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 CBI 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, however, said that the former minister`s claim
is "totally false" and such "wild allegations" have been made
"deliberately to create sensation".


First Published: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 21:49
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