In an official statement released earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has strongly denied allegations of misconduct by Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son.
"This has reference to reports appearing in a section of the media 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," it stated. "The reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the Government," the statement announced.
On his part, Singh has been very upset over the rumours that go on to suggest a fallout within the senior BJP leadership, with reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had even denied his son an election ticket from Noida for the Uttar Pradesh bypolls scheduled for September 13 for unsavoury political conduct.
However, strongly denying the rumours, the PMO's statement went on to say those indulging in such rumour-mongering are "damaging the interest of the nation".
Singh has also offered to quit politics if allegations of wrong doing against him or his family members are proven. "Rumours against my family members baseless. I will quit politics if there is an iota of proof against me or my family members' integrity," he stated. "I have spoken to the Prime Minister and BJP president Amit Shah on the issue and they have expressed shock," he added.
The denials came in the wake of a media report that Rajnath Singh was unhappy over rumours being spread by "a ministerial colleague" and "party rival" about his son being pulled up by the Prime Minister over some alleged misconduct.
Asked who could be floating the rumours, Singh said that was something for the investigative journalists to find out.
On the possibility of a political rival spreading these rumours, the Home Minister parried a direct reply, saying, "I have nothing to say on this." The Home Minister denied that he has complained to the RSS about these rumours.
However, the opposition was eager to fish in the troubled waters with Congress taking potshots at the government and asking it to spell out as to what the allegations were about. "The strange thing is that as opposition party, Congress has not levelled any allegations against his (Rajnath's) son.
"So the country and the Congress party want to know, Rajnath Singh ji, Prime Minister you should first of all say what are the allegations against his son, that you are denying," Congress spokesman Ajay Maken said while referring to the denials issued by the PMO as well as Rajnath Singh.
"With a lot of humility, the Congress party also wants to know from Rajnath Singh, that when it, the principal opposition party, had not levelled any such allegations, then who has made these allegations against you," he asked.
CPI leader D Raja said, "Without any fire, there cannot be any smoke. It shows there are lot of things...there is internal strife...the politics is changing." He said the denials by the PMO and Home Minister were "too late and too little" as reports have been appearing in national dailies for days together.
Surprisingly, JD-U leader Sharad Yadav came to Rajnath Singh's support, saying the allegations were "baseless" as he (Rajnath) is a "spotless" person.