M A I N   N E W S

Cong sees PMO hand in reverting
Telgi accused to old post
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 4
The Congress today hit back at Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s charge that the mastermind of the multi-crore stamp paper scam Abdul Karim Telgi was its party worker and instead implicated the PMO in this case.

Stating that Mr Vajpayee was also responsible for the Telgi scam, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma charged that it was the PMO which intervened to help deputy manager of the Nasik Printing Press Ganga Prasad, an accused in the case. Prasad, he said, had been transferred to Hyderabad to enable a fair probe but he was reverted to his old post following the PMO’s intervention.

Alleging that the stamp paper scam thrived during the BJP-Shiv Sena regime, Mr Sharma reminded Mr Vajpayee that he had personally spoken to Minister of State for Finance Vikhe Patil and asked him to cancel Prasad’s transfer. When the Minister refused, his senior minister cleared the file when Mr Patil was not in town, Mr Sharma alleged.

He, therefore, demanded that the government must make public all the correspondence between the PMO and the Finance Ministry regarding Prasad’s transfer back to the Nasik Press.

“The Prime Minister’s statement is baffling. As a person occupying the highest office, he is making such a charge when his own office intervened in this case,” Mr Sharma added.

Mr Sharma also assailed Mr Vajpayee’s advice to Congress president Sonia Gandhi that she refrain from levelling corruption charges against the BJP-led NDA. This, he said, only shows the character of the “scandal-ridden” party which was just not willing to acknowledge the corruption records relating to Tehelka, UTI, petrol pump, land scam and so on.

The Congress spokesperson said there had never been any accountability on corruption issues as far as the NDA government was concerned, adding that the government had adopted double standards in these cases.

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