The war of words between Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and former home-secretary –turned- BJP-leader RK Singh is getting serious with the latter on Monday accusing Shinde of lying and shielding a businessman close to India's most-wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim.
"Shinde prevented Delhi Police from interrogating a businessman in the Indian Premier League match fixing case. Agencies suspect this businessman has links with underworld don Dawood,” RK Singh told news channel CNN-IBN.
“There is even no assurance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Dawood. I was present at that conference with Shinde, he is lying," said Singh.
The comment comes after repeated assurances by Shinde in the past few months that India and the US were making joint efforts to bring Dawood to India. According to Shinde, the American attorney general, under whom the FBI works, gave such an assurance during Shinde’s visit to the US.
Singh, most likely to fight the Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket from Bihar, has tried to puncture Shinde’s claim by claiming that the US never gave any assurance to India.
Shinde, on a visit to his Lok Sabha constituency of Solapur, couldn’t be reached for comments.
Singh also alleged that the home minister regularly interfered in the work of the Delhi Police. "The staff at Shinde's residence would regularly send chits with names of people who should be posted as station house officers and I heard this was done in lieu of money," Singh claimed.
Former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, who was in office during Singh’s tenure, was unavailable for comments.
Before RK Singh’s latest onslaught, Shinde had said last Friday that he had scolded then home secretary Singh during the December 2012 protests that swept the Capital after the brutal gang rape of a medical student. Shinde’s comments had come in the wake of an earlier claim by Singh that he used to have frequent quarrels with the home minister during his tenure.
Singh has repeatedly attacked the UPA government on governance after joining the BJP last Friday, pointing to the 2G spectrum, the Commonwealth games scam and the coal block allocation scam.