Congress, BJP slug it out over charges of Shinde shielding Dawood man

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Shinde-shielding-Dawood-manThe Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are up in arms against each other over former IAS officer-turned-BJP leader RK Singh’s startling allegations against Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. RK Singh, a former home secretary, on Monday accused Shinde of “lying” and shielding a businessman close to India’s most wanted Dawood Ibrahim.

Reacting sharply the Congress called him an opportunist with party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh expressing shock at the allegations. Hitting out at RK Singh for saying Shinde shielded a businessman close to Dawood Ibrahim, Digvijaya tweeted, “Shocked at the Opportunistic behavior of RK Singh ex-HS. Why did he not bring this to the notice of Cabinet Secretary or the PM (sic).”

Even as Digvijaya called the charges ‘serious’, he said Singh is not morally right in hiding them for so long. He tweeted, “His charges are extremely serious and and if he kept quiet then he is guilty also of not fulfilling his assigned responsibility. Shocking! (sic)”

Questioning RK Singh’s credibility, Digvijaya tweeted, “Is it not a fact that he tried to get a post retirement position from UPA? Is it not a fact that he approached Nitish for a position?”
“Mr. Shinde is a seasoned politician and has held responsible positions in State and Centre. Such false charges by an ex-HS are condemnable,” he added.

But RK Singh hit back at Digvijaya saying every person in the party knew of differences between him and Shinde. “Everyone, including Digvijaya Singh, knew about my differences with Shinde. To say no one knew about it is utter nonsense. Everyone from the Principal Secretary to the Cabinet Secretary knew about it,” RK Singh said.

The BJP has now demanded that Shinde steps down if the allegations are proven to be true. “We demand a full investigation into this. If this has happened, then Sushil Kumar Shinde should step down,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed that the businessman in question is Shahid Balwa, who was also accused in the 2G scam. “The businessman being talked about is Shahid Balwa. Balwa not only is close to Shinde but many other ministers. If Mr Shinde doesn’t come out with proof to prove his innocence, I will go to court and demand an enquiry against him,” Swamy said.

RK Singh on Monday had accused Shinde of “lying” and interfering with Delhi Police’s work. “Shinde prevented Delhi Police from interrogating a businessman in the IPL match fixing case. Agencies suspect this businessman has links with underworld don Dawood. There is even no assurance from FBI on Dawood, I was present at that conference with Shinde, he is lying,” said Singh.

“The staff at Shinde’s residence would regularly send chits with names of people who should be posted as SHOs and I heard this was done in lieu of money,” Singh claimed.

Singh’s statement comes after Shinde had said that the Indian government along with US intelligence agency FBI was working towards bringing India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim to India.

“Efforts are on to track Dawood. We are in talks with the FBI,” Shinde had said earlier in Solapur. Earlier in September 2012 also, Shinde had said that Dawood will be also brought back to India to face justice. “We will bring one by one. All will come. Just wait,” he had asserted.

After joining the BJP, Singh had attacked the Congress-led UPA government saying that it was “clueless” about governance and its ministers steep in corruption. The bureaucrat-turned politician, had pointed to 2G, Commonwealth Games scam and coalgate in support of his allegations.