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PM dares Jaswant to name mole
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today challenged former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh to prove the allegation he made in his book “A Call to Honour” that there was a mole in the Prime Minister’s Office during the premiership of Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao.

“If they have the courage, they must identify the person and not make excuses,” the Prime Minister said, targeting Mr Jaswant Singh as well as the BJP.

He made these remarks in a brief interaction with the reporters after attending an all- party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on the eve of the monsoon session of Parliament.

Dr Manmohan Singh made it clear that his government was prepared to discuss the allegations at length during the coming Parliament session.

The Prime Minister’s remarks assume significance as the Opposition, particularly the BJP, is likely to grill the government on the allegations. The government is expected to make a statement on the issue in the Parliament.

Former Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh has claimed in his book that someone in the PMO during the late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s tenure had leaked nuclear secrets to the US and that “we are still being snooped”.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said he had come to know about this a decade ago but had remained quiet so far as he did not want to sensationalise the issue.

“Neither are we scared of taking any action or having a debate on the issue,” the Prime Minister told mediapersons in response to a query.

The Opposition seems set to put the UPA government in the dock over its various alleged sins of omission and commission — other issues being reports of Laskher-a-Toiba moles infiltrating the Indian Air Force, the spiralling prices and suicide by farmers , Indo-US nuclear deal, the WTO and corruption.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Minister of State in the PMO Bhuvnesh Chaturvedi has rubbished Mr Jaswant Singh’s claims about an American mole operating in the office of Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, terming these “a bunch of lies” timed to promote his autobiography.

Mr Chaturvedi, who was minister in the PMO then, called the suggestion a “figment of Singh’s imagination”.

He said there were only three persons in the PMO privy to all decisions and discussions. He claimed he had free access to the Prime Minister, who discussed practically every political issue with him before taking any decision.

“In a majority of cases, opinions expressed by me were accepted by the Prime Minister.”

Meanwhile, the BJP threatened to stall Parliament proceedings on the opening day of the monsoon session tomorrow, if its adjournment motion on the July 11 serial blasts in Mumbai was not taken up for discussion.

“We will move an adjournment motion tomorrow on the Mumbai bomb blasts. If the motion is taken up, the House will function,” senior BJP leader V K Malhotra told reporters after the hour-long meeting of leaders of all political parties.

 

 



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