There’s little secrecy about the close friendship bwtween India TV chairman, Rajat Sharma, and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Both have been friends for over four decades, from their time as student leaders in Delhi University.
Sharma was invited to talk at Harvard University in February this year.
However, the video of his speech and interaction with students is now gaining considerable traction because of his passionate defence of his past association with the ABVP and friendship with Jaitley.
During the interaction with students, Sharma put up a spirited defence of his friendship with the finance minister and the latter’s integrity.
He said, “Arun Jaitley I’ve known for 44 years. And I don’t think in Indian politics anyone more honest, whose integrity undoubted. I’ve seen him for 44 years. Not a single spot on his life. As a lawyer, for one case he will get Rs 20-25 lakh. He could earn Rs 1 crore a day. He left all that, joined politics. And then he was getting accused by Kejriwal and people of Rs 5,000, Rs 10,000. I thought if I don’t come and stand by him, I will be doing injustice to the people of this country. If I don’t stand for Arun Jaitley, who else?
“There’s a man whose intelligence and whose integrity is unchallenged. And I know it for myself. I went and told him. There’s a defamation case and I will stand by you…The fact is that if I had not stood by Arun Jaitley..I think I will never be able to forgive myself. And I will go hundred times if anyone does it against him. (sic)”
While recording a statement in Delhi court in January 2016, Sharma had said, “Deeply disturbed about the nature of the false allegations made against him (Jaitley) and being in the media. I am aware that such allegations can cause harm and destroy the reputation of any respectable person.”
Jaitley has filed both a criminal and civil defamation case against the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders.
Suspended BJP MP and former Indian cricketer, Kirti Azad has been leading the battle against the rampant corruption in DDCA. He had challenged Jaitley to file a defamation case against him, a statement that contributed to his suspension from the saffron party.
Besides Kejriwal, other AAP MLAs who Jaitley has filed defamation case against are Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.