After Advani’s regrets to Sonia, BJP seeks to revive Bofors

Saturday, February 19, 2011

NEW DELHI - A day after releasing party leader L.K. Advani’s letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressing regret over black money allegations in the party report against her and her family, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday sought to revive the Bofors controversy in which her husband and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi faced allegations.

“Mr Advani has said what he wanted to say. Just recall the Bofors case. Rajiv Gandhi had said that neither him nor any member of his family had taken any kickbacks in Bofors but ultimately it was Quattrochhi. We do not know who Quattrochhi is in this case (black money case),” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Advani, in his letter, “regretted the distress” caused to Sonia Gandhi over his party’s task force report that allegd she and her husband had money in foreign bank accounts.

However, Advani said Gandhi should have denied the allegations before they found a place in the BJP document.

Gandhi, in a letter to Advani, said that her “attention has been drawn to a publication titled ‘Indian Black Money Abroad in Secret Banks and Tax Havens’ purporting to be a report submitted by a Task Force appointed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and was surprised that a leader of his stature had endorsed scurrilous and malicious fabrications”.

“This so-called report contains reckless and baseless allegations against me and my family, including my late husband and my mother. These lies, energetically disseminated from time to time by sections of the media and interested parties, have so far been treated by me with the contempt they deserve,” the letter said.

“But I must let you know that I am surprised and disappointed to find a leader of your stature occupying important positions in the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and the BJP endorsing such scurrilous and malicious fabrications through their release at a function presided over by you,” her letter said.

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