Jaitley denies allegations

Updated - November 17, 2021 03:19 am IST

Published - December 25, 2010 03:36 am IST - NEW DELHI:

BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley. File photo

BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley. File photo

The Bharatiya Janata Party took an offensive damage control position here on Friday after reports appeared in a leading magazine and on two television channels linking the party's powerful general secretary and MP from Bangalore Ananth Kumar with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley organised an urgent press conference here to tell the press Mr. Kumar had no Swiss bank accounts and that he advised Mr. Kumar to take “immediate legal action,” presumably against the magazine India Today and television channels Headlines Today and Aaj Tak, which belong to the same media group. Over Thursday and Friday these media organisations carried extensive and explosive reports on the Radia-Kumar link.

Mr. Jaitley described the news coverage as “unethical journalism” and denied all the charges made against Mr. Kumar. “No, Ananth Kumar did not allot any land to any trust headed by Ms. Radia, nor was this done by the BJP-headed National Democratic Alliance government; veteran party leader L.K. Advani did not attend any function of the Radia-linked trust; Mr. Kumar did not open any Swiss bank accounts at any time; BJP president Nitin Gadkari was not even aware of Ms. Radia's name or who she was till recently when she made news headlines; and, finally, the allegations of leaks of Cabinet papers by Mr. Kumar to Ms. Radia during the NDA tenure were of too general a nature and there was no proof of this.”

Asked whether he denied the Kumar-Radia link, he said, “I am not aware of any relationship between Ms. Niira Radia and Mr. Ananth Kumar.”

He stated aggressively that the television channels and magazines basing their reportage on statements made by “close relatives of a Congressman” were guilty of libel. “Those were libellous statements and repeating it is equally libellous. We are planning legal action,” he said.

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