Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office and BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday dismissed reports claiming home minister Rajnath Singh’s son was denied an election ticket because he was involved in influence peddling and had been rapped for “misconduct” by Modi.
"The reports are plain lies," the PMO said in a statement, adding that they "constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of this government."
The rebuttal came shortly after Singh gave an emotional statement to the media, saying, “I will quit politics and public life and sit at home the day these allegations, even prima facie, are proven against me or my family.”
Asked who could be behind the floating of the rumours, he said that was something for the investigative journalists to find out.
Will quit politics if allegations proved against me or family: Rajnath Singh
A newspaper report had said that Singh had complained to the party leadership that a ministerial colleague had been spreading rumours about his son being pulled up by Modi. Quoting a senior BJP source, the newspaper had cited “power struggle” within the party, leading to the denial of ticket for the upcoming by-poll on Noida seat to Pankaj Singh, who is the general secretary of Uttar Pradesh BJP.
Shah also defended Singh, his predecessor, saying “the conduct of all our ministers is of the highest standard”.
Wading into the controversy, Congress asked the government to spell out what it was denying.
The PMO has released a statement on reports appearing in sections of the media mentioning the PM & the conduct of Union Ministers & HM's son— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 27, 2014
The reports are plain lies, motivated & constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the Government— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 27, 2014
Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied: PMO statement— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 27, 2014
"The Congress party also wants to know from Rajnath Singh that when it, the principal opposition party, had not levelled any such allegations, then who has made these allegations against you," Congress leader Ajay Maken said.
CPI leader D Raja said, "Without any fire, there cannot be any smoke. It shows there are lot of things... there is internal strife... the politics is changing."
Surprisingly, JD-U leader Sharad Yadav came to Singh's support saying the allegations were "baseless" as he (Rajnath) is a "spotless" person.
Also read:Rajnath Singh's son denied Noida ticket