New Delhi, Feb 12 : Congress on Friday rebutted former Telecom Minister Arun Shourie's reported claim that he had apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Spectrum scam and said it was a "travesty of truth" and is a "conscious attempt to confuse and confound".
"It is most unfortunate and most regrettable that such sweeping allegations were made against a person of impeccable integrity like the Prime Minister...it is a travesty of truth and a conscious attempt to mislead and misinform, confuse and confound," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
Maintaining that there was "absolutely no communication" of any kind as such by the concerned person to the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister's office, Singhvi questioned the timing of the revelation by the former minister.
"Why such sweeping allegations were made only after the one-man committee chaired by Justice Shivraj Patil submitted a report, which has catalogued certain illegalities and irregularities by successive governments in last eight-nine years as far as bureaucracy and ministers of their departments are concerned..."."Why should the former minister take that report so personally that instead of defending himself, he is attacking the Prime Minister without any basis of facts," Singhvi said.
To a specific question on whether he is denying Shourie's claim of meeting the Prime Minister on the issue, Singhvi said, "I have said there was no communication, which means all types of communication."
He, however, refused to entertain queries on whether he has verified the genuineness of the allegation from the Prime Minister's Office or the government but stressed he was speaking on behalf of Congress party which is the leading partner in the UPA government.
Singhvi said Shourie raising the issue after lapse of so much time raised serious questions about the true motive of him as well of his party behind bringing the allegations.
The Congress spokesperson questioned if Shourie had the facts why did he not bring the issues in public domain much earlier and why the allegations are now being levelled afterpassage of such a long time.
"Is it not to divert attention, to digress from the issue whether for himself or for the BJP? Instead of diverting or digressing, BJP should have enquired, as this government has done, irrespective of the political colour of the specific government," he said.
Shourie had told a newspaper "a person very close to the deals started giving out a detailed account of all the companies that received undue favour...Armed with those details (of front companies), I met the PM in the Rajya Sabha around August-September 2009...
"I told the PM showing him details and papers in the Rajya Sabha corridor, please have a look at these details. There is a loot going on in your name and all the evidence is here," Shourie had said.