`I will not make it public, because there is a national purpose behind it'

"I think the snooping is still on" Person charged no longer in a position of authority

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dared him to name the mole in the Prime Minister's Office during P.V. Narasimha Rao regime, the former External Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh, said on Monday that he would meet Dr. Singh on Tuesday and give him the name and all evidence on the allegation that nuclear secrets were leaked from.

Mr. Jaswant Singh told CNN-IBN that he would seek an appointment with Dr. Singh and hand over all documents on the basis of which he had made the allegation.

"I have nothing to hide. However, I do not believe that it is necessary to reveal the name in public. No purpose will be served, nor is it advisable," he was quoted as saying in a release issued by the TV channel. He was asked about references made to the `mole' in his book, A Call to Honour.

The senior BJP leader is slated to hold a press conference on Tuesday to clarify his position on this and several other issues, including criticism of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Singh maintained that spying was still on. "I think the snooping is still on. We have seen arrests involving the U.S. Administration here even now. So, I don't think what I am saying is not borne out by the reality."

In a separate interview to NDTV, Mr. Singh said the person charged with leaking nuclear secrets to the U.S. was "no longer in a position of authority."

Hijack crisis

On the Kandahar hijack crisis, which ended with the release of three terrorists, he said: "I don't think it was a mistake. The choice was between life and death." He said it was "not a surrender" to terrorism and would not diminish the party's stand against it.

Denying reports that he blamed Mr. Modi for the Gujarat violence, Mr. Singh said his remarks in the book reflect ed "what the most ardent BJP supporters would say."

Asked whether the Modi Government had mishandled the riots, he said the Gujarat Government could not be faulted. "The mishandling is from Delhi, from our adversaries." Hailing Mr. Modi's administrative acumen, he remarked "I wish we had ten of him."

He also said that the book written by him was not a party document.