As a row rages over Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal's charge that BJP government was targeting him, Congress leader Digvijay Singh today alleged NDA government had "strangulated" the media and jailed Tehelka staff when the web portal had done a sting operation on a former BJP chief and a NDA minister.
"I also know Tarun Tejpal for a long time. But this is also true that Tejpalji had carried out a sting operation on then BJP President (Bangaru Laxman) and a minister of NDA government. After that, the manner in which people from Tejpal's Tehelka institution were jailed and the way the media was strangulated during NDA government is also a historical fact after," Singh told reporters at the sidelines of a function here.
Singh refused to go into the details and merit of the case against Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting his junior colleage, saying it's a matter between a young journalist and employee of Tehelka and its managing editor.... I can't give a comment on that.
He, however, insisted "I have known Tarun Tejpal for a long time and he has been fighting communal forces and had been very active against him when he exposed them through his sting operations.."
The Congress leader's remarks have come on a day when BJP and Congress were engaged in a war of words after senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj tweeted "Union Cabinet Minister who is the founder and patron of Tehelka is shielding Tarun Tejpal."
With his name doing the rounds, Law Minister Kapil Sibal hit back at BJP and RSS, accusing them of vilifying him and said Tejpal was not related to him and he does not have any stake in Tehelka.
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu had earlier said "this (plea to give case to CBI) can be an excuse. It may be an escape route to get away... Congress likes Tejpal and he likes Congress."