NEW DELHI: BJP parliamentarian Varun Gandhi leaked crucial information about defence matters to arms manufacturers after being blackmailed with pictures of him with foreign escorts and prostitutes, Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s Office has been told in a letter.
The complaint, dated September 16, is from C Edmonds Allen, a US-based lawyer, who says that Mr Gandhi was used by controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma to disclose defence details to arms manufacturers looking to score contracts for India. Mr Verma and Mr Allen were business partners before they had an epic falling out in 2012. Mr Allen says that as a member of a parliamentary defence committee, Mr Gandhi used his information to “compromise national security.”
Mr Gandhi told NDTV, “How can I respond to something so ridiculously nonsensical. Is there any proof of any of these allegations? What is the proof of any of this?” The 36-year-old has told NDTV that he has not met Mr Verma in over 15 years and did not attend the parliamentary committee meetings referred to by Mr Allen, that any photos presenting him as “honey-trapped” are not genuine. He said that the allegations being made may be intended at preventing a role for him in the Uttar Pradesh election. Some BJP workers are believed to be in favour of Mr Gandhi being named the party’s presumptive Chief Minister.
Mr Verma, in a statement, said he rejects “the salacious allegations” made in the letter of complaint and that he neither had Mr Gandhi photographed, nor blackmailed him.
The partnership between Mr Allen and Mr Verma collapsed in January 2012 with the pair swapping accusations of money-laundering, siphoning and cheating. Mr Allen then provided a steady supply of papers against Mr Verma to Indian investigators.
Mr Verma was jailed and investigated in several cases including what is known as the navy war room leak which centred on the selling of sensitive naval secrets by a group that included serving and former military officers. Mr Verma was given bail in 2008 in this case.