Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday rejected as an 'outright lie' the claim by former CAG Vinod Rai that along with party members Sandeep Dikshit and Ashwani Kumar he had sought to put pressure on the chief auditor to keep the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's name out of the reports on the 2G and coal-block allocations.
In an interview to 'Times Now', Rai claimed that the then Congress MPs, including Sandeep Dikshit, Sanjay Nirupam and Ashwani Kumar, had sought to put pressure on him to keep the Prime Minister's name out of the said CAG reports.
"That was a futile attempt," Rai said. Rejecting the charge, Nirupam said, "Rai has told an outright lie. I never talked to him. I challenge his memory and want to remind him that I never met him."
The AICC Secretary also claimed he had strongly criticised the CAG at the meetings of the Murli Manohar Joshi-led Public Accounts Committee, which was examining the audit watchdog's report on the 2G Spectrum allocation.
"I also want to remind him that I had attacked the CAG strongly at the PAC meeting and said that the report was a total fraud and politically motivated. I had also said that the CAG should be interrogated by PAC. But Joshiji did not allow it," Nirupam said.
Rai, whose estimates of purported losses in the 2G spectrum and coal block allocations had pushed the then UPA government into a corner, has also criticised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that integrity is not just financial but intellectual and professional too.
He was also critical of the coalition politics under Singh and suggested that he was more interested in remaining in power.