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Arms scam: George points finger at Prez, Kalam mum

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: October 10, 2006 19:44 IST
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Rejecting allegations of corruption against him in the Barak missiles deal with Israel, former defence minister George Fernandes has said that any charge should start with President A P J Abdul Kalam. 

"In so far as Barak is concerned, if they have to make any charge, then it should start with the President, who first called for it (the missile system) before I went into the government," he told reporters on Tuesday shortly after CBI filed a First Information Report naming him as an accused in a case of corruption in the Barak missile deal.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan chose to remain silent on the allegations.

"He (the then scientific adviser to defence minister) said that the missile system was needed and that was how it came. Otherwise, it would not have come," Fernandes said.

Fernandes also attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi alleging that she was behind the Tehelka sting operation and wanted to implicate him. He said he was not afraid of getting arrested if the CBI had some concrete evidence against him.

Meanwhile, Tarun Tejpal, editor in chief of Tehelka, which carried out the expose on defence deals, said he had been receiving congratulatory messages from all parts of India.

"George does not need anyone to discredit him. He does it everyday by changing his statements. He can say anything against anybody may it be the President Kalam or anyone else. He can call me names like stooge of Sonia Gandhi. I am glad that the government has finally moved and got him," Tejpal told on phone from Poland, where he is releasing the Polish edition of his book The Alchemy of Desire.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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