oppn parties Varun Gandhi: Hushing Up Will Not Do

News Snippets

  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
  • After China objects to Home Minister Amit Shah's Arunachal visit, India says China has no business to comment on the issue as the state is an integral part of India
  • The OBC "creamy layer" to be changed by including salary as part of the income that will decide the threshold. This will lead to many more getting left out
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says the word "nationalism" should not be used now as it has acquired negative connotations
  • UP Sunni Central Wakf Board accepts the 5-acre plot given by the government to rebuild the Babri masjid as per the terms of the Supreme Court order
  • Two dalits thrashed and abused in Rajasthan's Nagaur. Police arrest 7 persons
  • Supreme Court rejects curative petition in the Uphaar cinema fire case in Delhi and says there will be no further jail terms for the owners, the Ansal brothers
  • Government data placed in Parliament shows a sharp decline in job creation under its flagship employment generation schemes
  • The government is working to amend the Aadhar Act to make it possible for the Aadhar to be linked with the Voter's ID. Election Commission will simultaneously be empowered to link the two
  • Tapas Pal, former TMC MP, dies of cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was questioned for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam and gained notoriety for his rape remark in 2014.
  • Bypoll to panchayats in J&K, scheduled for March in eight phases, postponed due to security concerns.
  • Supreme Court says that overhead power transmission lines going through the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan must go underground to save the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican
  • Pakistan not placed in FAFT blacklist but kept on the grey list with warning
  • The government is expected to announce duty cuts and other measures to combat business disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Varun Gandhi: Hushing Up Will Not Do

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-10-22 12:14:13

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Varun Gandhi is in the eye of a storm. An Amercian lawyer and whistleblower Edmonds Allen, erstwhile business partner of arms broker Abhishek Verma, has stirred a hornet’s nest by alleging that Verma had honey trapped Gandhi into disclosing information about defence deals by videotaping his indiscretions with foreign escorts and prostitutes. Gandhi had access to some defence information as he was member of the defence consultative committee of the Indian parliament in his capacity as an MP.

Gandhi on his part has told The Indian Express newspaper that “anyone who knows about the defence committee knows that there is no secret or confidential information that is ever shared with the committee. I have heard wild and nonsensical allegations but there is not a shred or iota of proof or evidence to substantiate any of these insane claims. It is very easy to attempt to blacken someone’s good name. I have taken this very seriously. I find it seriously defamatory and will be taking legal action.”

It could be that Edmonds Allen wants to settle scores with Abhishek Verma and is hence using Gandhi’s past proximity with him to stir up a controversy. When people fall out they often use props to hit at each other. Hence, it could be possible that Edmonds Allen is using Gandhi as a prop in his fight against Verma.

On the other hand, by making these serious allegations, Edmonds Allen must be aware that he is exposing himself to defamation charges if they are not true. He has provided a CD that he claims was sourced from Verma. The CD contains some pictures of Varun Gandhi with foreign women. That in itself is not incriminating evidence. But if there are more CD’s and videotapes and if they were used as alleged, the matter is serious.

The government needs to first establish if secret defence deals were shared with members of defence consultative committee when Gandhi was attached to it. Then it needs to establish whether Gandhi still has connections with Verma. After that, the veracity of the CD’s and videotapes need to be established. If all the above, or even some of it, is true, then the matter needs to be investigated thoroughly. It does not matter what Varun Gandhi does to save himself and his name. If information about the country’s defence deals were passed on to an arms broker by an MP, it is a very serious matter that needs to be probed urgently.