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War room leak: BJP calls for removal of Defence Minister

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party today accused Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee of misleading Parliament and the nation on the war-room leak issue and demanded his removal from the Council of Ministers.

Addressing newspersons, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the CBI raids in the case had proved beyond doubt that the information leaked out from the war room was highly sensitive in nature and related to important aspects of national security.

Mr Mukherjee, however, in his statement in Parliament on March 22, had described the information leaked out as ''mere commercial'', he said.

Mr Javadekar said the Navy affidavit in the Delhi High Court earlier had also stated that the leaked information was ''prejudicial to the interest of the state and undermining the security of the nation''.

It proved that the war room leak was more serious than what meets the eye, he said.

He also claimed a direct link between the leak and the Scorpene submarine deal.

The BJP spokesman said that in an interview, Ravi Shankaran, an alleged arms dealer and a kin of Naval chief Admiral Arun Prakash, had also revealed that the Defence Minister was in the know of the things in this matter much earlier than it broke out.

''The specific reference (by Shankaran) to 'the man who wears a dhoti' and a direct suggestion of Pranab Mukherjee having influenced the second draft by deleting many findings of Navy's Board of Inquiry in the war room leak, is also serious,'' Mr Javadekar said.

He said the NDA and the BJP had raised many questions, including why all civilians involved in the ''war room leak'' had not been arrested.

Also, why was the government not tracing the money trail by ordering an inquiry into the payment of Rs 225 crore by Thales Trust from its account G635.712 in UBS Bank, Zurich, to Account No.0026324 of LGT bank, Vaduz, Lichtenstein, said to belong to Verma, and subsequent transfer of Rs 112 crore from this account to the account of Gruber Research Foundation, Switzerland (Account No.0139.031 of Bank Credit Suisse).

The BJP would like to know why the government chose to remain silent on the matter and not order an inquiry into the antecedents of these account holders, Mr Javadekar said.

Referring to the Navy's affidavit in the court where it had talked about involvement of certain foreigners, he also demanded that the government disclose their identities and initiate action against them.

UNI KAS LR PM1858

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