NEW DELHI: Congress today dismissed as "bundle of lies" the BJP's charge that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi gave any direction to the then Home Minister P Chidambaram in the Ishrat Jahan case.
It also sought to take the battle to the ruling party's camp, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of attempting to "derail" the judicial process in the fake encounter case and asked them to tell "the real motive behind desperation to shut down" the ongoing trial.
"Unlike the RSS, Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi never intervened or gave any suggestion to the then Home Minister P Chidambaram or any other person or authority in Government qua any administrative matter including the Ishrat Jahan case," party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said in a statement.
Hitting back at Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should "stop perpetuating bundle of lies by using his cronies and pawns to spread falsehoods" about the role of Congress President and Congress Vice-President.
He claimed that by such "mischievous" attempts to hoodwink and divert the attention of people of the country, Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah cannot "put a lid on the truth". "PM and BJP President owe an explanation to 125 crore Indians to tell the real motive behind desperation to shut down the ongoing trial in Ishrat Jahan case. Let truth and justice be not a casualty in this web of deceit being woven by BJP Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP spokespersons," he said.
Ishrat Jahan and three other accomplices were killed in an encounter by Crime Branch of Ahmedabad Police on 15th June, 2004 on the allegation that they were LeT operatives.
The Congress spokesperson said that the Prime Minister and BJP President need to answer as to "why are they trying to bypass the judicial findings" of Metropolitan Court, Ahmedabad and Division Bench of Gujarat High Court, which have held that it was a fake encounter.
Raising a number of questions, he asked as to why Government of India and Government of Gujarat are not giving sanction for prosecution of officers found responsible for the fake encounter. "Why are PM and BJP President trying to block an ongoing trial and blatantly interfere with the judicial process? What is it that they seek to hide or are scared of?", he asked.
He said that people of India want to know the motive, the conspiracy and the real reason for repeated attempts to "derail" the judicial process from reaching a final conclusion in Ishrat Jahan case. "PM owes a duty to the nation to tell this," he added.
BJP yesterday suggested that the Congress chief had asked Chidambaram to file a second affidavit in the case as UPA could "tolerate terrorists but not Narendra Modi as Prime Minister".
Party spokesperson Sambit Patra had asked Chidambaram to name the "culprit" who asked him to change the affidavit in which references to Ishrat being an LeT operative and a threat to the life of Modi, then Gujarat's Chief Minister, were made.