Congress on Saturday said Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi was a "ghost" created by BJP and slammed the opposition for seeking to drag his name to "besmirch" the party and the Gandhi family.
Party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Quattrocchi was a "ghost" created by BJP and that charges against him had been quashed during NDA rule.
"I don't understand why Congress should react to the death of somebody who has been a ghost created by BJP. Somebody has died, his family deserves condolences," he said.
The Italian businessman who was wanted in India in connection with the Bofors payoff scandal, died on Saturday in Milan, Italy.
Singhvi said it was in 2004 during BJP-led rule that the Delhi High Court had quashed the charges against Quattrocchi and the government of the day had not filed any appleal against that ruling.
"...from 1998 to 2004, BJP tried to tom tom this thing during elections and lost this issue in at least three or four elections. They were unable to do anything to prove complicity in this crime," he said.
"But as far as besmirching of the political system is concerned...of the Gandhi family, of Congress is concerned, this is very wrong," he added.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, however, dismissed Singhvi's charges saying the ghost was created because Congress was "hosting" him.
"...the ghost was not created by BJP but by V P Singh and if we had created the ghost, it is because you were hosting it," he said reacting to Quattrocchi's death.