Growing evidence of Rajiv Gandhi's role in Anderson's exit: BJP | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Growing evidence of Rajiv Gandhi's role in Anderson's exit: BJP

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2010 20:04 IST
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Claiming that there was "growing evidence" of the role of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the exit of Warren Anderson, BJP said on Friday that this was clear from the recent statement of a retired senior diplomat.

At a party briefing, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman referred to the statement of the then foreign secretary M K Rasgotra yesterday that Gandhi was told about granting Anderson a safe passage, to which he did not object.

"After Rasgotra has chosen to speak in graphic detail on the issue, the Congress cannot any more browbeat or beat around the bush (on Anderson leaving the country)," she said.

"Rasgotra says in an interview (to a news channel) that arresting Anderson was a mistake and it was a breach of promise... This shows there was an agreement (between US and Indian government on letting Anderson leave)," she said.

The BJP leader said, "Rasgotra says Rajiv Gandhi was out of Delhi. But once he returned he was 'briefed fully' and had no objection to Anderson leaving the country," Sitharaman said.

BJP further alleged that the US Consulate at that time was dealing with "high level Indian officials" or else Anderson could not have gone out.

"Anderson met Rasgotra in South Block. He also met President Giani Zail Singh and the Home Minister (P V Narasimha Rao)," Sitharaman said.

The BJP leader also took on the Congress for calling Rasgotra's statement "politically motivated", saying Rajiv Gandhi had appointed the former foreign secretary India's High Commissioner to UK post-retirement.

"Later, Rasgotra served in the foreign affairs cell of Congress and was also appointed a member of National Advisory Council by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during UPA-I," Sitharaman said.