'Jaswant carried ransom for hijackers'
In a new twist to Kandahar row, senior Congress leader RK Anand alleges that Jaswant carried $200 mn for hijackers.india Updated: Jul 19, 2006 20:44 IST
In a new twist to the Kandahar controversy which refuses to die down, senior Congress leader RK Anand on Wednesday alleged that the then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh had "carried" more than $200 million to the hijackers of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 in 1999 "under international pressure".
Anand's charge was that the money had come from the "international community" via Switzerland because the Swiss "currency king" Robert Giori was among the 161 passengers held hostage by the hijackers for one week.
Anand, a former Rajya Sabha member, joined hands with an unusual ally, expelled BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana, to make a frontal attack on Singh saying that he was not not speaking truth in denying he had paid any ransom.
"There was pressure from the US and Switzerland to secure Giori's release for any amount of money," he said.
The BJP rejected the charges by Anand and Khurana as "baseless, mischievous and false" and said Anand had withdrawn similar allegations on the floor of Parliament in December, 2004.
Party spokesman Ravi Shanker Prasad also charged Khurana with adopting "blackmailing tactics" after failing to secure a Rajya Sabha seat and positions in the BJP.