Jammu, May 1: Union Minister Jitendra Singh day hit out at former Defence Minister A K Antony for his remarks on chopper scam, claiming that he was speaking from the mindset of ten years of UPA rule when "they were dictating the CBI" even as he asserted that the Narendra Modi government does not interfere in the functioning of the probe agency.
"I think he (A K Antony) has answered the question. He is speaking from the mindset of ten years of UPA rule when they were dictating the CBI what to do. I think somebody should remind them," Singh told reporters here.
He was replying a question about Antony's statement who today questioned the delay in AgustaWestland chopper scam.
Antony had said, "They cross-examined all witnesses. At no stage, names were revealed. My question is now CBI is with present government, ED (Enforcement Directorate) is with present government. Why delay, if there is evidence?" Singh said, "Modi government does not interfere in day to day functioning of CBI...We have the propriety.
We have the discretion to respect the independence and autonomy of the CBI and therefore we do not even enquire into what it is doing and what case is being pursued by it to what extent."
"This is because they have been doing for over a half a century and I think this is betraying the kind of conditioning of the psyche they have carried while ruling the country for last 50 years and they expect anybody who is at the helm of the affairs would tend to misuse to CBI," he alleged.
"But it is not so the case with the present government. As far as the case is concerned CBI has its own mechanism and procedures...if you follow the law...and if they have nothing to fear they should welcome the probe because it would be an opportunity for them to prove themselves innocent," he said.
On Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's remarks that she is not afraid of the probe, Singh claimed, "She is not afraid of the Constitution...she is not afraid of CBI...she is not afraid of the law of land...she is not afraid of the anything."
"Instead we are afraid of the propriety, we are afraid of the Constitution, we are also afraid of accountability to the people of the country," he said.
"If they have nothing to hide where would they find a better opportunity to prove that there is nothing to hide," he added.
On the allegations of security breach, he said, "If it proves to be true this is a serious matter. It also would lead to another question that in the pursuit of material gains, we can sometimes tend to overlook security of the country."
On the payoffs to middlemen, Singh said he was not in know of the probe details.
"We do not interfere in functioning of the probing agency but nevertheless all of us who are in public life are ready to accept the conclusions drawn by the probe by the independent bodies. That applies even to ruling party as to those in opposition."