Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi on Saturday came out with a two-page long response to the allegation about him leaking classified defence information to arms manufacturers, saying there is "not one grain of truth or shred of evidence” against him.
A former partner of arms dealer Abhishek Verma, in a letter to the Prime Minister, had alleged that Verma "honey trapped and compromised” Gandhi into leaking information about defence matters, and blackmailed him with photographs taken with "foreign escorts.”
The September 16 letter that C Edmonds Allen, a lawyer based in New York, wrote to PM Modi was released Thursday to the media by Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Allen’s letter mentioned that Gandhi was "a Member of Parliament of the Defence Consultative Committee”.
In response, the BJP MP wrote a detailed, seven-point letter addressed to "fellow countrymen”, written in English, claiming that parliamentary records would show that he never attended any meeting of the defence consultative committee and very few of the standing committee.
"Clearly, I was neither actively seeking out or passing on any information. Had there been any hidden agenda or motivation as alleged in the letter, it would have been reflected in my attendance,” Gandhi said.
As a first time opposition MP, he claimed he could not, and did not, have any access to any sensitive defence information. "So the question of being allegedly coerced into revealing anything does not arise,” Gandhi said.
"I would like to point out the false and frivolous nature of its (letter) charges, and the impossibility of these allegations." Mr Gandhi said.
"I am taking a legal recourse against those who have deliberately sought to target my reputation and public standing.” Gandhi said.
Mr Allen, who was a partner of Mr Verma, fell out with him in 2012. Mr Verma is facing trial in the 2006 Naval War Room leak case.
"I have never met Edmonds Allen, who has written this letter containing these allegation. Nor do I have any details of who he is, not what he does except as has been reported in the press of him being a former associate of Abhishek Verma," Mr Gandhi said in the statement.
"I first made acquaintance with (Abhishek) Verma when I was a college student in England. He was introduced as the son of late Veena and Shrikant Verma, both Members of Parliament from a reputed family. We met socially over a short period of time. It has been many years since we last met. At no point did we ever discussed work, neither his nor mine," he said.
The BJP distanced itself from the issue and said that there was no point in commenting on it when the person in question had himself denied the charges.