The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mountain out of a ‘mole’

New Delhi, July 25: The expected revelation of the identity of the “mole” to the Prime Minister did not come about today.

Under pressure from the BJP, Jaswant Singh held a news conference to explain why the Vajpayee government did not act on the information that P.V. Narasimha Rao’s office had an American mole who leaked nuclear secrets and, on being peppered with questions about the person’s identity, offered some clues.

He was far less enthusiastic about his promise to meet Manmohan Singh and give away the identity and even said he had not sought an appointment, nor was he going to and would wait to be called.

“The Prime Minister has chosen to talk to me through the media. Permit me to talk to him through the media,” he said.

It drew an immediate snub from the Congress. Spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said: “It was Jaswant Singh who initiated dialogue through the media.”

The former external affairs minister makes the allegation in his just-released book. But it raised the embarrassing question for the BJP: why didn’t the Vajpayee government act on the information'

He said the Vajpayee government did not take action against the “mole” because it did not believe in “political vendetta”.

Besides, the person had retired and was out of the country by the time he learnt of his existence and he did not think the information warranted an investigation.

As for the identity of the mole, Jaswant said he was a “high-ranking” civil servant in Rao’s PMO.

The person had two features: intimate links with the scientific community and he was part of a secret meeting in Bangalore where nuclear tests were discussed.

“I have given you enough clues,” Jaswant said, challenging the media to find out who the mole was.

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