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Team Anna has ulterior motives, says Pranab

PTI 22 Jun 2012, 10:59:20 IST
New Delhi, Jun 19: Hitting back at Team Anna, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has rejected their allegations of corruption against him as “unfair” and “self-seeking” and said it reflected the lack of responsibility on behalf of those claiming to represent high standards of ethical behaviour.  

Mukherjee, against whom the Team Anna has demanded a probe, said the “false” allegations against him were being levelled with “ulterior motive” and “malafide” and suffered from “serious suppression of facts”.

Facing stepped up attack at a time when he has been fielded as a candidate for the post of the President, the Congress veteran reminded Hazare and his team that they had thrown to winds all the morality professed by it by making such allegations.

“It is unfortunate that India Against Corruption that claims to represent high standards of ethical behaviour has thrown its professed moral grounds to winds...,” said Mukherjee's letter addressed to Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia.

He was responding to a letter written by the team Anna to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh levelling the allegations.  “What compounds the unethicality is that the team has called for an investigation into the allegations that is the main prayer in the PIL without referring to the various orders passed by the High Court,” it said.

Mukherjee said the “allegations (against him) are false, unfair, self-seeking, motivated, malafide and made with ulterior motive and lacking any form of responsibility”.

Mukherjee's letter said the allegations levelled by Anna Hazare and his team “suffers from serious suppression of facts” as it “does neither refer to nor speak of pending litigations. This suppression itself shows the total falsity of the issues raised,” it said.

Attacking Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan, the letter said that he was the lawyer in the PIL and he is now seeking to agitate in a non-judicial forum what he has been unable to achieve through Constitutional process.  

Mukherjee particularly referred to the allegations on Scorpene Deal and Navy War Room leak case and rubbished these as “blatantly false and malicious”.

“There was neither any evidence whatsoever of any middlemen in the Scorpene project nor any evidence of a link between the War room Leak and the project to warrant any further enquiry into the acquisition that could have only delayed the induction of critical equipment by the Navy which was already facing crippling shortage of submarines,” it said.  

The letter said the government had countered the PIL and questioned the motives of the petitioners but also pointed out the blatant “inaccuracies and false surmises” in the two news stories of a weekly which linked the War Room case with the acquisition of Scorpene submarines.

It said the inquiry into the recovery of pen drive (War Room Leak case) did not reveal any linkage to the Scorpene deal. In the War Room Leak case, trial is pending in court.  

The letter also said it was established that the alleged e-mails and other communication of Jean-Paul Perrier with Abishek Verma and the faxes from the former's company Thales were found to be fabricated and false.