BJP on Saturday alleged one of the middlemen arrested in the Ordnance Factory Board scam involving buying of artillery guns worth Rs 6000 crore had easy access to the Prime Minister's Office and sought a clarification from the PM on the issue.
"Ramesh Nambiar, one of those arrested in the scam involving buying of artillery guns, had a role in the opening of a private bank account in Singapore in the name of OFB's former director Sudipta Ghosh. Nambiar, a mere additional general manager with Air India, used to frequently visit the PMO," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
CBI has also arrested Ghosh accusing him of involvement in the scam.
Prasad alleged Nambiar claims to be "very close to a very, very senior civil servant in the PMO".
When contacted, Deepak Sandhu, media advisor to the Prime Minister, clarified that TKA Nair, Principal Secretary to the PM, attends a large number of social, cultural and religious functions organised by the people from Kerala based in Delhi. He might have met Nambiar in one of those functions but he did not know him personally, she said.
Prasad alleged Nambiar did not have to follow the protocol set for entering the PMO -- where only the Cabinet ministers can enter unhindered -- and even some of the past CMDs of Air India used to take him along when they visited the PMO.
"BJP wants to know who is Nambiar?....In what capacity was he going to the PMO and with what purpose? We want a clarification from the Prime Minister himself," Prasad said.
BJP further alleged that attempts were being made to "erase the exit and entry records" of Nambiar to the PMO.
It demanded a thorough, time-bound and free and fair investigation into the Rs 6,000 crore scam.
The CBI has made some arrests in the alleged scam involving buying of artillery guns and ammunition for the army. Some of the firms have been black-listed.
When the scam came to light, the UPA government black-listed seven firms involved in the deal while Defence Minister A K Antony froze the Rs 6,000 crore artillery upgradation plan for the army.