The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday warned of legal action against the Congress for accusing party leader Ananth Kumar of helping corporate lobbyist Niira Radia fix business deals and threatened libel suit against TV channels that broadcast the allegations.
"The party has advised Ananth Kumar to take action against the maker of allegations and those responsible for the broadcast of those allegations," BJP leader Arun Jaitley told reporters in New Delhi.
"Making a libellous statement or repeating it is equally libellous," Jaitley, also a lawyer, said.
The organisation which made these allegations will also have to face legal action, he said.
The BJP's tough talk came after the Congress demanded an explanation from the BJP over allegations that Ananth Kumar had helped corporate lobbyist Radia fix business deals.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi dared the BJP to sack Kumar. "Will the BJP sack Kumar from the post of party general secretary," he asked.
Singhvi was reacting to remarks of Radia's former business partner Rao Dheeraj Singh on a TV channel in which Singh has claimed that her business prospered under Kumar as union civil aviation minister. Singh has also alleged that Kumar passed sensitive cabinet documents to Radia for her clients when he was a minister in the NDA-led government.
Ananth Kumar was civil aviation minister during the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government in 1998-1999. In the second NDA government between 1999-2004, he was handling different portfolios like tourism and urban development.