Congress today trashed reports based on WikiLeaks claiming that late Rajiv Gandhi, much before becoming Prime Minister, may have been a middleman for a Swedish company trying to sell fighter aircraft to India.

Making it clear that the allegation against Rajiv Gandhi has no basis whatsoever, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi referred to the last line of the particular cable to emphasise that there was no foundation to the allegation and accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of “spreading lies and falsehoods.”

He also urged media not to fall for “temporary gains” and added “we are very hurt with the news” but dismissed questions on whether the party will resort to any legal action into the matter.

“Having noted what the Swede has said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information. The foundation of the whole story falls flat here,” he said quoting parts of the cable.

The leaked secret cable claimed that Gandhi was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable.

The cable dated October 21, 1975 says that the “Swedish Embassy Official has informed us that main negotiator with Swedes on Viggen (a fighter aircraft) at New Delhi end has been Mrs Gandhi’s older son, Rajiv Gandhi. Latter’s only association with aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as pilot for Indian airlines and this is first time we heard his name as an entrepreneur.”

Rubbishing the report, Dwivedi said, “Today a reputed newspaper of the country has published a peculiar report. What is a matter of deep regret is that those sections of media, in whose wisdom, most people in the country rely have also now begun to believe in sensational news.”

Questioning the credibility of WikiLeaks, the Congress general secretary said, “An agency, which had sometime back collected a lot of so-called information or got it somewhere and published quoting American Embassy.... Till date it has not been verified. I do not understand what is the basis of what has been published in the newspaper today.”

Raising doubts about the intentions of Assange, Dwivedi accused him of “spreading lies and falsehoods” and said he himself wants to form a political party.

As the BJP launched a stinging attack on the Congress over the latest cable issue, the Congress general secretary also reminded the opposition party of another WikiLeaks cable, which spoke of a big leader of the NDA taking money from the US intelligence agency CIA, a reference to George Fernandes.

(This article was published on April 8, 2013)
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