The Centre on Monday rejected Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s claims that the chief of the Special Protection Group was forced to resign after he refused to accept a list of officers selected by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

At an interaction in New Delhi on September 22, Gandhi claimed that a person from Gujarat was chosen to head the Special Protection Group after Narendra Modi became the prime minister in 2014, PTI reported. The officer left the position later.

“He told me that he refused a list of SPG officers handpicked by the RSS, and that is why he was sent home,” claimed Gandhi.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Home Affairs labeled Gandhi’s statement as “baseless and devoid of fact”, adding that the officer has denied having such a conversation with him.

“The matter has been verified,” said the ministry. “The officer in question, Vivek Srivastava, former Director, Special Protection Group, has specifically averred that he did not have any such conversation with Rahul Gandhi at any point of time.”

The Special Protection Group is entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the country’s top dignitaries, including prime ministers, former prime ministers, and their families. Gandhi also enjoys SPG protection.

The statement said that Srivastava interacted with SPG protectees as a part of his professional duties. “However, he has categorically stated that during his interaction with Shri Gandhi, there was no talk whatsoever regarding the appointment of a new director, or the reasons for his leaving SPG,” it added.

In his interaction, Gandhi claimed that the RSS has “systematically captured” educational institutions, the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India, and wanted the country to run on a single ideology.