The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP speaks up for Gingee

New Delhi, Sept. 8: The BJP strongly defended the reinduction of MDMK MP Gingee Ramachandran within months of his resignation, saying “false” charges had been made against him.

Leading the defence was the party president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, who told the media today: “False charges had been made against Ramachandran after which a detailed inquiry was carried out. No charges were found against him, so he had to be reinducted.”

Ramachandran had quit as minister of state for finance after his personal assistant R. Perumalswamy was implicated in a cash-for-transfer case. He was taken back in today’s shuffle as minister of state for textiles.

Justifying the oft-repeated practice of the NDA government to drop a minister whose conduct was under a cloud and then reinstate him, Naidu maintained: “It is a healthy precedent that ministers against whom charges of corruption have been made have offered to resign and the PM has reinducted them after the charges were proved to be false.”

Naidu also gave defence minister and NDA convener George Fernandes a clean chit, saying the Opposition allegations against him were “baseless”. But when he was asked about his predecessor Bangaru Laxman — who was eased out after the Tehelka sting operation and was not rehabilitated — the BJP chief smiled, said nothing and quickly left the press venue saying he had a flight to catch.

Earlier, Naidu slammed Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh for charging the RSS with running training camps in firearms manufacture and deploying its cadre in states around his own. Bhopal datelined reports — handed to the press by the BJP — quoted Digvijay as saying in his address to the Madhya Pradesh Congress’ legal cell on Sunday that the RSS was out to foment communal tension before the Assembly polls and was using its education network for this purpose.

“Digvijay’s aim is to defame the BJP. Congressmen are experts in making baseless charges. Earlier, the MP Youth Congress chief had accused the PM of eating beef and later the party retracted the allegation,” Naidu said.

He demanded that Digvijay should disclose where the “training camps” were located, who was conducting them and what kind of explosives were being used.

“The Congress is nervous and has lost confidence in itself. There are no issues to go to the people with. To cover up its failures and divert attention, he is levelling baseless charges,” the BJP chief said.

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