Upset over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comment on him on the Barak missiles deal issue, NDA Convenor George Fernandes has shot off a letter to him accusing him of being a “silent spectator” to the “misuse” of CBI in the case.
He was referring to the PM’s reported remark, “I have no other expectation from him (Fernandes), in response to a media query during his recent foreign trip, about the JD(U) leader’s attempt to involve President APJ Abdul Kalam in the controversy.
In his missive to Singh, Fernandes stated he wished to clarify that he had not made any derogatory remark about Kalam whom he held in “high esteem” nor had he tried to “drag” him into the controversy.
“To set the record straight, it was the CBI itself in its press release dated October 10, 2006,which had dragged Dr Kalam into the controversy,” he wrote.
Fernandes reminded the PM that he had written to him in May 2004 for an immediate enquiry into the coffin purchase allegations against him because the Congress had launched a “malicious” campaign against him on the issue.
“My expectations that you will act honestly and independently as the prime minister of this country have also been belied as you have been a silent spectator to this gross and unprecedented misuse of the CBI by your government to browbeat political opposition. Or am I to believe that you are also a party to this blatant misuse?” the letter stated.
Meanwhile, JD (U) general secretary and close associate of Fernandes, Shiv Kumar, announced that his supporters in the party and other sympathisers would launch a nationwide campaign, beginning with a rally in Dehradun on October 29, to “expose” the Congress’ efforts to make political gains by targetting the former defence minister.
However, he evaded questions whether JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, who has not been on good terms with Fernandes, would participate in the campaign.