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I'm not PMO mole: Naresh Chandra

Envoy to US says he himself brought the letter to PMO's notice when charges surfaced, reports Rashmi Saksena.

india Updated: Aug 07, 2006 13:15 IST

Breaking his silence on the mole hunt triggered by Jaswant Singh's book, former cabinet secretary and ambassador to the US, Naresh Chandra has squelched reports and rumours of the possibility of him being the mole.

The first such allegation of Chandra being a mole surfaced in the 1990s. BJP ideologue S Gurumurthy had made the charges, naming him and another functionary.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Chandra said when these charges surfaced in the form of a letter, he himself had brought it to the notice of the PMO — in September 1997 — "just before the Gujral-Clinton meeting".

"I wrote to the PMO, suggesting that this was sheer nonsense and the government should take legal action because it amounted to defamation," he said, adding he was advised to ignore it because the government found no credibility in the letter.

In the context of Jaswant’s mole, Chandra said he was never scheduled to attend the super-secret Bangalore meeting and he didn’t. He said: “They seemed completely misinformed about my travel programmes and views on the nuclear tests.”

It's another matter that there is apparently no mole now — at least not one with a name. Jaswant himself has said he doesn't have a name. And Chandra is clearly saying it’s not him. Let the mole hunt continue.

First Published: Aug 07, 2006 00:00 IST