Stating that there is “nothing other than innuendo” in The Wire story on Jay Shah, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal Monday said the criminal defamation case was necessitated since the article used photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Goyal himself.
“Insinuations have been made that sought to create the wrong perception…. We are defending because the party president and the Prime Minister have been dragged in, and I have an obligation towards the party and the government,” Goyal said.
He was flanked by BJP media cell chief Anil Baluni and spokespersons Sudhanshu Trivedi and Sambit Patra.
Defending the BJP’s decision to clear the air about Jay Shah’s business dealings, a Union minister said on the condition of anonymity that the party “works as a family”, and that “we are one team”.
Jay had claimed to be a private citizen in his communication to The Wire through his lawyer. About Tushar Mehta, additional solicitor general to the Union government, defending Jay in the case, a top BJP source said, “A government law officer is allowed to participate in a case between two private parties after taking permission…. This is not the first time Tushar Mehta has taken up a private case.”
Calling the Jay Shah case “very different from that of Robert Vadra”, Goyal said, “There was no involvement of the government in this case, no change of policy, no spectrum or coal mines given out.”
Denying that the questionnaire sent by The Wire before putting up its report online, had prompted Amit Shah to cut short his Jan Raksha Yatra in Kerala and rush to Delhi last Thursday, Goyal said, “We didn’t have any clue at that point. The questionnaire came on Thursday night.”