Varun Gandhi on Saturday said he was taking legal action against those who had accused him of leaking defence secrets. "I would like to point out that...the claims made are wild and unsubstantiated. I'm taking legal recourse against those who have deliberately sought to tarnish my reputation and public standing," the Bharatiya Janata Party MP said.

The statement comes two days after a letter written by United Sates-based lawyer C Edmonds Allen to the Prime Minister's Office was made public. Allen had alleged that arms dealer Abhishek Verma had been blackmailing Gandhi for defence-related information with photographs of him with sex workers and foreign escorts. Gandhi, however, called the claims "false and frivolous" and said he had neither met Allen, nor knew of him.

The BJP MP, who was once part of the parliament's defence consultative committee, had earlier said that the allegations were "baseless" and "too ridiculous" for comments. He had also threatened to sue Swaraj Abhiyan founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav for defamation for making the letter, dated September 16, public.

Allen alleged that Verma had been blackmailing Gandhi with the photos to get him to reveal defence details to arms manufacturers so they could get contracts for India. He also accused the parliamentarian of "compromising national security". Gandhi, however, refuted the allegations as baseless and said he had not met the controversial arms dealer since he was in London at the age of 22.

The lawyer had been Verma's business partner before they fell out in 2012 and accused each other of cheating and money laundering. Allen had also given Indian investigators ample proof against Verma to implicate him in a number of cases. One such set of documents showed that Verma, along with Congress leader Jagdish Tytler's son Siddharth, had entered into a telecom joint venture called Corewip in 2012 in Cyprus. Corewip had later complained to the PMO that Verma and Siddharth had swindled them of $1.1 million (around Rs 7.35 crore).

Verma was also arrested and later released in a case known as the navy war room leak, which involved the selling of sensitive secrets of the Indian Navy by both serving and former military officers.