Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday got support from the PMO against the rumours that his son was misusing his authority for favours and dared anybody to prove and said he would quit politics if they are proved.
A report in the Economic Times said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is apparently ‘ticked off’ with Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh for his misconduct and that Rajnath has met RSS top leadership about the colleague, who was not named.
“I will quit politics if there is an iota of proof against me or my family members’ integrity,” Rajnath said and was soon backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi too. Rajnath was No.2 in Modi’s cabinet and was instrumental in proposing Modi’s candidature as party president prior to elections against all odds. He is also the deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha. However, today’s developments show that his clout in the government is visibly on the decline.
Rajnath is reportedly upset with his colleague, who he did not name, for spreading malicious stories about his son Pankaj Singh in the last two weeks. “I thought I should not bother with it because rumours have no basis and they will die soon, but I have seen that the rumours are just growing. I have spoken to the Prime Minister and BJP president Amit Shah on the issue, who have expressed shock and expressed incredulity at my predicament,” he said in a statement.
Rajnath had to react strongly in view of the rumours that his son was also denied ticket to contest ffrom Noida in UP, bordering New Delhi, for the Uttar Pradesh bypolls to be held on September 13. Some media reports even went on to say that Mr Modi took exception to Pankaj Singh seeking bribes for plum police postings and that he was warned against such acts.
The Prime Minister’s Office soon reacted saying the reports are lies meant to character assassination. In a statement, the PMO said: “The reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the Government.”
It even tweeted similar messages:
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 27, 2014
“Recently, the power corridors in the national capital have been rife with reports that the whole episode is nothing, but a fallout of ongoing power struggle between some senior top BJP leaders…. Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied.”
Whether the reports were true or not, Pankaj Singh was overlooked for Noida seat, which has gone to BJP’s veteran 62-year-old Vimla Batham from Noida. Moreover, Modi is learnt to have signalled against giving tickets to two members of the same family.