‘Traumatised’ Varun Gandhi’s open letter: Not one grain of truth in allegations
Reacting against the allegations, BJP’s Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi on Saturday came out with a two-page long response, saying that there is “not one grain of truth or shred of evidence” against him.
About reports of about him leaking classified defence information to arms manufacturers, Varun Gandhi claimed that parliamentary records would show that he never attended any meeting of the defence consultative committee and very few of the standing committee.
Last month, a US-based lawyer called C Edmonds Allen alleged that his former business partner and controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma “honey-trapped” Varun Gandhi and some senior military officials with foreign sex workers to extract sensitive information about defence deals.
In his detailed response addressed to “fellow countrymen”, written in English, Varun said: “Clearly, I was neither actively seeking out or passing on any information. Had there been any hidden agenda or motivation as alleged in the letter, it would have been reflected in my attendance.”
As a first time opposition MP, he claimed he could not, and did not, have any access to any sensitive defence information. “So the question of being allegedly coerced into revealing anything does not arise,” Varun said.
Citing the lawyer’s claim of furnishing these details to the CBI and ED, he said, “Had these top agencies even (had) the least suspicion or proof of any involvement whatsoever on my part in all these years, it would surely have been reported by now,” he insisted.
The BJP leader claimed he and his family were deeply traumatised by these “lies” and he was taking legal recourse against those who have sought to tarnish his reputation and public standing. “In public life, one learns to take criticism and detractor in one’s stride. However all criticism must be based on some fact. In this instance there is not one grain of truth or one shred of evidence,” he said in the open letter. “Here, I simply wanted to share the truth without delay so that such mischief is nipped in the bud.”
Varun Gandhi insisted that the US-based lawyer, whom he says he never met, was naming public figures like him to attract greater public attention for his grievances, real or imagined, against his former associate Verma. “I have needlessly been sought to be embroiled into a controversy in which I have no part,” he said.
In his seven-point counter to the allegations, Varun Gandhi dismissed the charges as malicious rumours. He reiterated that he first made acquaintance with Verma when he was a college student in England. “He was introduced as the son of late Smt Veena and Shri Shrikant Verma, both Members of Parliament from a well respected family. We met socially over a short period of time. It has been many years since we last met. At no point did we ever discuss work, neither his nor mine,” he said.
On Friday, former AAP leader and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav had slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not taking action against party MP Varun Gandhi for allegedly leaking sensitive information about defence deals.
Yadav said the saffron party was not taking any action in the matter to safeguard their own, adding that the BJP has also not been able to take action in the case because if it taken cognisance of the wrongdoings in the issue, then it would have not been able to strike the Rafale deal with the company.