With Bofors once again taking centre stage, the Congress fielded its media chairperson and general secretary Janardan Dwivedi on Thursday to defend the party's first family against the Bharatiya Janata Party's onslaught in both houses of Parliament.

Accusing the BJP of levelling “baseless and irresponsible” allegations as the Lok Sabha elections are approaching, Mr. Dwivedi said: “They are in a hurry to come to power. It has been very difficult for them to be in opposition for so many years. They should learn to accept the decisions of people and the courts.”

Targeting Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, who raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha, he recalled that the BJP leader was the Law Minister in the NDA government when a Delhi High Court judgment in February 2004 stated that not even an ounce of evidence of graft was found in the case: “Why did the NDA not appeal against the judgment? L.K. Advani was the Home Minister for six years. Why did he not expedite the probe and punish the guilty?” Mr. Dwivedi asked, pointing out that Mr. Jaitley had also been Additional Solicitor-General during the V.P. Singh government: “You have been a prosecutor, a Law Minister: now you also want to give judgments on court verdicts. When you give a judgment, you should also include the period when you were in power,” he said.

Mr. Dwivedi recalled that the former Prime Minister V.P. Singh used to say that he knew the Swiss Bank account number in which the Bofors kickback money had been deposited — but he never disclosed it. He stressed it was unfortunate that a statement by a retired policeman of another country was being given so much play that answers were being sought in Parliament.

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