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WikiLeaks cables on Rajiv baseless, unfounded: Congress (Lead)

By:  Tupaki Desk   |   8 April 2013 5:57 PM GMT
The WikiLeaks cables on the late Rajiv Gandhi were "baseless" and "unfounded", the Congress said Monday and hit out at the BJP for asking it to "come clean" on allegations that he may have been a middleman for a Swedish company looking to sell fighter jets to India in the 1970s.

"There are no grounds for WikiLeaks story and it is baseless and unfounded," Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said on reports of the US diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks.

Referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) comments, Dwivedi said: "We should think where we are taking politics."

The Congress leader said there appeared truth in apprehensions that an attempt was being made to create an atmosphere of suspicion. He said the Congress was an organisation that was over 125 years old and was dedicated to values.

Dwivedi also hit out at the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) about socialist leader George Fernandes being prepared to accept money from US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

If it was assumed that there was some truth in reports of cable information, was it also true that information pertaining to Fernandes was true, he asked.

Dwivedi said Fernandes was not well and he did not want to make an allegation against him.

"But, is it true he got money from CIA," he asked. Fernandes was asenior minister in the NDA government.

If the story was stretched, Dwivedi asked, "were the BJP leaders also involved?"

The BJP told the Congress to "come clean" on the "WikiLeaks revelations" reported in The Hindu that the late Rajiv Gandhi had been a middleman for Swedish company Saab-Scania when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s.

The Hindu also reported that US diplomatic cables claimed that Fernandes had said in November 1975 - some four months into Emergency - that "he was even now prepared to accept money from the CIA".

Leaked diplomatic cables from the US embassy on the WikiLeaks website have reportedly named the late prime minister as a middleman during the 1970s when he was an Indian Airlines pilot.