The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday rejected the bribery charge levelled by the Congress, which referred to a media report to allege that the top leadership of the ruling party was paid a bribe of Rs 1,800 crore.
BS Yeddyurappa, who was at the centre of the Congress’s allegations, dismissed the charge calling it “absolute nonsense, disgusting and desperate efforts” by the opposition party. He also threatened with a defamation case.
Calling the diary fake, Yeddyurappa said, “Prove it at the earliest or face defamation case.”
“The Congress party and its leaders are bankrupt of issues and ideas…The IT department officials have already probed the issue to find that the documents and signatures and handwritten notes are forged one,” said Yeddyurappa.
Also Read | For brand-new Lokpal, Congress suggests its first case – Yeddyurappa diary
Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad followed up the counter-attack on the Congress by Yeddyurappa. He said the Congress’s charge is an attempt to divert people’s attention from the embarrassment the party faced due to statement by Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the Overseas Indian National Congress, over Balakot strike.
Prasad said, “The Congress party, where in many top leaders are out on bail and suffering many court proceedings, has now resorted to create a web of lies.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, earlier, demanded investigation by the newly appointed Lokpal into the allegation of bribes paid to top BJP leaders. He said it was a fit case for probe by the Lokpal as it involves allegation of corruption by those who “have run the government in the last five years”.
Presenting the BJP’s counter, Prasad said the diary cited by the Congress to level allegations came into picture when the Income Tax Department conducted raids on senior party leader and Karnataka minister D Sivakumar in 2017.
“When the IT officials asked Sivakumar to authenticate the diary, he refused to do so saying he is not sure about the genuineness of the documents,” the Union minister told a press conference in New Delhi.
“Will the Congress party now do its politics only on false, lies and misrepresentation,” he said before linking the opposition party’s demand for a probe into the report published by news magazine, Caravan under “Yeddy Dairies” with the statement made by Sam Pitroda over strike by the Indian Air Force at a terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Pitroda had raised questions over Balakot strike in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed in February. The Congress leader referred to some international media reports seeking “more facts” about Balakot strike.
Also Read | ‘Did we really attack’: Congress leader Sam Pitroda questions Balakot strike
Prasad said the Congress’s renewed attack over the bribery charge is an attempt to divert attention from Pitroda. “It is the BJP’s charge that the Congress has used the allegations to divert attention of the nation from the ridicule Sam Pitroda brought to the party with his statement since morning.”
“What is the conclusion? The Congress is desperate. In the view of imminent defeat of stark defeat (in the Lok Sabha polls), it has lost its balance,” Prasad said.
Mar 22, 2019 17:15 IST