Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Sunday dismissed rumours that he had lobbied for Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to help suspended transport minister Saksayam Chidchob with his share concealment case.
"No, we didn't talk about any personal matters. That [rumour] is such nonsense that I don't think I need to respond," said Mr Anutin.
The Bhumjaithai leader was said to have tried talking Gen Prawit into agreeing to help Mr Saksayam at a recent meeting over a meal.
Held at the Foundation for the Conservation of Forests in Five Adjoining Provinces in the 1st Infantry Regiment in Bangkok, the get-together, widely publicised in the media, was intended as an opportunity for parties in the coalition government to discuss the current political situation, said Mr Anutin.
Mr Saksayam, who is the secretary-general of the Bhumjaithai Party, has been suspended from duty while the Constitutional Court deliberates on his alleged concealment of shares in Burijarearn Construction Limited Partnership.
While Mr Anutin denied lobbying Gen Prawit to help Mr Saksayam, he confirmed he had in the past arranged meetings with Gen Prawit on political matters, though he stopped short of detailing the topics.
He also dismissed speculation that Bhumjaithai and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha are in conflict over the latter's decision to put the brakes on the Orange Line project, following claims about the Ministry of Transport's handling of the project.
Mr Saksayam, meanwhile, said on Sunday he had petitioned the Constitutional Court for a 30-day extension of the April 17 deadline imposed on him to submit his written defence against the allegation.
He said his legal team needs more time to gather the documents which will be submitted to the court as his defence.
Many of these documents need to be certified by various authorities and/or legal entities concerned before they can be used as evidence in court and that takes time, he said.
Mr Saksayam added that he remained confident he would win the case and his cabinet portfolio was not at risk.