New Delhi : Coming out all guns blazing on the Congress over the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that the entire episode was an attempt by the UPA regime, especially the Congress’ top brass, to defame and implicate Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister.
“With regard to Ishrat Jahan, first it was the LeT website, secondly it was David Headley’s evidence and thirdly it was the Central Government’s affidavit in the Gujarat High Court. In spite of all this, they changed the affidavit. Now, there is another startling revelation by G.K. Pillai saying ‘the decision to change the affidavit was taken at a political level’,” Naidu told the media here.
Asserting that then home minister P. Chidambaram, former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s were present at the helm of affairs during the encounter, Naidu emphasized on the misuse of position by the UPA government to harass the political opponents.
“Now, Mani has come out saying that he was tortured. Torturing a government official by another agency at the behest of a political leadership is unheard of. You can understand how much misuse was done by the previous government with regard to the CBI and how political opponents were harassed. Their entire plan was to stop, defame and implicate Narendra Modi. They also harassed Amit Shah to some extent,” Naidu said.
Stating that the truth had finally come out in the open and it must be debated in the Parliament, he added that the Congress Party must come clean on the second affidavit instead of denying the charges against them.
“What is the justification of changing the affidavit…do you (Congress) have answer? They must explain,” Naidu said.
In a revelation that has the potential to spark a fresh political row, Mani yesterday claimed that he did not draft the second affidavit and had been ordered to sign the file in the Ishrat Jahan case.
Mani has alleged that the changes in the second Ishrat Jahan affidavit ‘were made at the political level by the then UPA government’ and that he was ‘tortured’ to sign it.
His claims came days after the former home secretary alleged that Chidambaram as the country’s home minister during the UPA regime ‘bypassed him’ and rewrote an affidavit submitted to a court on Ishrat Jehan, the 19-year-old student killed in an encounter in 2004.
Chidambaram earlier on Monday said the revised affidavit was absolutely correct, adding he accepts full responsibility for the affidavit as a minister. (ANI)