Congress hits back at BJP, questions Vajpayee's letter to Rao

Congress hits back at BJP, questions Vajpayee's letter to Rao

"Would it be appropriate using the same yardstick of the BJP to say that Vajpayee was tainted by association," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari asked as BJP attacked Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Bofors and 2G spectrum issues.
In 1992, Vajpayee had written to Rao on accepting the offer made by Hinduja brothers to Indian investigators to look into one of the Swiss Bank accounts into which the alleged Bofors payoffs were made.

The letter had then kicked up a controversy as the issue came up for discussion in Parliament. It was later learnt that the bank account was not the one related to Bofors.
Tewari said "the BJP should tell the nation as to what were the impelling circumstances which made the then Leader of the Opposition to directly intervene with the Prime Minister of India on behalf of some of the accused in the Bofors case".

Ridiculing the BJP's attempts to target Sonia, Tewari said that opposition party has since 1987 been "raising the ghost of Bofors and feeling ecstatic after slaying it".
Another Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the BJP, by raising Bofors and 2G spectrum issue, was trying to divert attention from "RSS' complicity in terrorism" by levelling such accusations.

"These are things being done deliberately to digress and divert attention from documented investigation reports showing full complicity of RSS in terrorism," Singhvi said.

The BJP at its national executive meet in Guwahati today decided to go the whole hog after the Congress first family, alleging that Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi's involvement in the pay-offs lead "directly to the doorstep of Sonia Gandhi".

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman also sought a clarification from the Gandhi family on its relations with Quattrocchi and his dealings.

Besides, she said the assertions of former Telecom Minister A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee that they had obtained "due clearances" for cost escalations, lead to the "doorsteps of the PMO".

While maintaining that "for 23 years not an iota has been found about Congress or Rajiv Gandhi in the case," Singhvi said the party has "nothing to say or do with regard to action taken according to law in respect of other indivduals like Win Chadda, Hinduja and Quattrocchi".

On BJP pointing fingers at PMO, the Singhvi said, "the BJP is a minority on this planet to dream that even remotely the Prime Minister's Office is in any way connected with the 2G

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