Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arun Shourie Slams Website Reports of Money Being Paid for Ministry

Source NDTV

New Delhi: Journalist-politician Arun Shourie, who is being tipped to get an important role in the Narendra Modi government, finds himself at the centre of a vicious vilification campaign.

A website has come out with the insinuation that a businessman had paid a hefty amount of Rs 100 crore to BJP president Rajnath Singh to ensure Mr Shourie landed up with a plum portfolio. The website advocates a brand new cabinet with no baggage from the Vajpayee era, which is why they advise Mr Modi to dump people like Mr Shourie. 

Mr Shourie, 72, had handled portfolios as diverse as disinvestment and telecommunication during the government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Mr Modi, who takes over the country's reins on May 26, holds the former union minister in high esteem, and is said to have sounded him out for a role in his government. (For PM-to-be Narendra Modi, 20-Minute Presentations from 84 Departments)

"It is such a ridiculous allegation," Mr Shourie told NDTV, adding, "If I had 100 crores, why would I give it to Rajnath Singh?"

What set off the speculation about Mr Shourie's likely induction in the Union Cabinet was a meeting he had with the BJP president earlier this week. "That meeting was not a secret one, it was at 4:30 pm and we discussed election related things," the former union minister said. 

The Magsaysay Award winner says he has no clue about who all are being considered for ministerial slots. "I have no idea who is being considered, neither does anyone else," Mr Shourie said, refusing to even comment on whether he will consider a Cabinet post if it is offered to him.  

The final list of those who make it may only be released on Sunday, the day before the swearing-in ceremony.

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