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As they prepare to mark 100 days in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, and Union home minister Rajnath Singh went into damage-control mode on Wednesday after reports in a section of the media claimed that Rajnath Singh’s son was pulled up by Modi for an alleged “misconduct”.
As opposition parties revelled in the discomfort of the ruling party, BJP president Amit Shah joined the PM and Singh in condemning the reports, saying the “propaganda” against ministers was baseless and misleading.
Shortly after newspapers carried reports of Prime Minister’s unhappiness over some alleged misdemeanour of Singh’s son Pankaj and that he was warned about it, Rajnath Singh sought to scotch the “rumours”, saying he would quit politics if even “prima facie” it is proved that any of his family member had been involved in any misconduct. An emotional Singh made a brief statement to the media, saying rumours about alleged wrongdoings by his family members have been floating around for the last fortnight. “In the past 15-20 days, there have been continuous rumours about me and my family. I (had) thought the rumours had no basis and these will end in some days,” he said. “But I am seeing that these are gaining momentum. I want to assure the nation that the day allegations, even prima facie or even small, are proven against me or my family, I will quit politics and public life and sit at home," he said in a hurriedly called interaction with journalists outside his office in North Block.
The home minister said he spoke to Modi and Shah about it and both of them expressed surprise and termed the rumours as completely baseless.
Meanwhile, the PMO also issued a statement, rubbishing the reports and dubbing them as “plain lies, motivated and malicious attempt” to tarnish the image of the government. “This is in reference to reports over the past several weeks, mentioning the Prime Minister, and referring to the conduct of some Union ministers, and alleged misconduct of the home minister’s son,” the PMO statement said. “The reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the government,” it said. “Those indulging in such rumour mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied,” the PMO said.
The denials came in the wake of a media report that Rajnath Singh was unhappy over rumours