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‘Vinod Rai seeking publicity for his book’


New Delhi, Sep 12 :

The Congress Friday dismissed former CAG Vinod Rai’s remarks on ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh’s role in the 2G spectrum and coal block allocations, saying he was seeking publicity for his yet-to-be-released book.

“The disease of book promotion with attendant marketing and publicity is assuming the proportions of an epidemic. It seems that we need a new antibiotic for this viral,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media here.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Abhishek Manu Singhvi

He said that Rai was repeating allegations that had already been rejected by the Supreme Court and the special CBI court.

He said Rai has not once but many times spoken of the reports that have already received wide publicity while he was in office but perhaps the hunger has not been sufficiently satiated.

Singhvi said: “It is very important to remember that similar, indeed identical allegations were made about prime ministerial awareness and complicity. They were made by applications both to the special CBI judge and the Supreme Court.”

He added: “There was also a big issue about issuing notices to the then prime minister (Manmohan Singh). Now what is important is that all those attempts were rejected both by the Supreme Court and by the special CBI court.”

The Congress spokesman said: “Perhaps he considers himself better informed, more judicious and more balanced with superior knowledge than the properly constituted judicial system of this country.”

He further said that Rai was indulging in selective amnesia by excluding recent “damning reports” of the CAG Gujarat office about then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s government.

“The selective amnesia of Rai is evident since he does not remember or talk in any interview or even in his forthcoming book about the severe strictures passed by the CAG office on Modi when he ran the Gujarat government,” Singhvi said.

He said that the CAG Gujarat report had pointed out that there are more than Rs.25,000 crore of disputed transactions in the Gujarat accounts.

“It (the report) said that the government’s claim of revenue of Rs.5,500 crore during 2012-13 was highly overstated. Rai never once talked about it even though the report was issued during his tenure,” Singhvi said.

He alleged that Rai was keeping the option of joining politics open.

“Denials by Rai about joining politics have been somewhat ambiguous and his words suggest he is keeping all his options open. It would have been better had be first joined politics and then made these subjective opinions,” he said.

Rai, ahead of the release of his book “Not Just An Accountant”, has said Manmohan Singh “chose not to stop” the problems in the telecom sector and claimed that Congress leaders had sought to pressurise him to keep out the PM’s name from the audit report brought out by his office.