With his name not figuring in the CBI charge sheet in the coffin scam, former Defence Minister George Fernandes on Monday demanded an apology from the Congress for alleging his involvement in the 2002 case.

“I needed no ‘clean chit’ from the CBI to know that the aluminium casket purchase issue had never even come to my table during my tenure as Defence Minister let alone my drinking the blood of martyrs, as the Congress accused me of doing,” the JD(U) leader said in a press statement here.

Mr. Fernandes had come under the scanner following allegations that poor quality aluminium caskets were bought from the U.S. at “exorbitant rates” to transport bodies of Kargil martyrs.

The CBI filed a charge sheet in the scam on August 19 against four persons, including two retired Army officials and one serving officer, but did not name the ex-minister.

Accusing the Congress of “demoralising” the troops by launching a “false political attack” on him, Mr. Fernandes said, “Can we expect even a squeak of an apology?”

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