Neither Jaswant Singh offered nor we tasted opium--Dilawar

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Jaipur, Nov 14 (UNI) Rajasthan Social Welfare Minister Madan Dilawar today categorically denied charges of serving and/or tasting opium during a socio-religious ceremony at Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh's native village Jasol recently.

Mr Dilwar, who is among the 10 BJP leaders against whom an FIR of violation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 has been lodged at the Balotra police station, said that neither the opium was served by host Mr Singh during the ceremony nor he and other fellow BJP leaders had tasted the contraband.

Mr Dilawar said his father was an authorised opium grower for several years and he was familier with the taste and flavour of opium.

''Therefore, I can responsibly say that what was offered by host Mr Singh did not contain opium and was merely Kesar dissolved water,'' Mr Dilawar asserted.

An FIR has been lodged against Mr Dilwar, Mr Singh, Rajasthan Education Minister Ghanshyam Tiwari, former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's son-in-law and Industries Minister Narpat Singh Rajvi, Government Chief Whip Mahavir Prasad Jain, sitting MP and BJP national Vice-President Kailash Meghwal, former BJP state Presidents and sitting MPs Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi and Raghubir Singh Kaushal and sitting MLAs Shankar Singh Rajpurohit and Jogeshwar Garg for alleged violation of the NDPS Act during the function.

The FIR against these leaders has been lodged on the directives of the Special NDPS Court on a complaint from O P Bishnoi of Jodhpur.

The complainant had alleged that the leaders had violated the NDPS Act, 1985 by serving and/or tasting ''opium'' during this socio-religious ceremony organised by Mr Singh at his native village Jasol in Barmer district recently.

UNI

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