Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday may have dropped hints that a minister in the previous UPA government could be one of those who had stashed money abroad.
“I know who you are hinting at. But please wait for the appropriate time,” he told Times Now when asked if he was not violating the treaty (on confidentiality) by saying it could be a person in Manmohan Singh’s council of ministers.
Asked if he was not denying that there could be a minister from the UPA government, Jaitley quipped, “I am neither confirming nor denying, I am only smiling.” To a question if there was anyone from the council of ministers of the government headed by Manmohan Singh, he said, “I don’t want to give details about that because then again I will end up violating the treaty, I don’t want to give those details.”
To another question whether an influential member of the Congress party was among the names with the government, he said, “If we are able to prove charges against any person, politician or otherwise, the names will be told to the court and it will become public. I don’t want to get into specific details at the moment because I don’t want to be accused of violating the treaty.”
Explaining the process involved in prosecuting the persons named by foreign government of holding black money abroad, he said the accounts will be made public in accordance with the due process of law.
“So, all we intend to tell the (Supreme) court is, we will make those names public against whom charges have been filed in the court,” he said.
When told that political parties protect political parties in such matters, Jaitley said: That is absolutely wrong. If my opponent’s name is there I will be very enthusiastic in declaring the names.
When asked about the controversy surrounding Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s land deals in Haryana, he said it was for the new state government to take action in the matter.
“Prima facie there is a case for investigation (against Vadra) and because it does not happen you start with almost negligible capital, a few lakhs of rupees and that turns into crores and crores of rupee within a matter of year or two. Now that does not happen in normal transaction,” he said. Answering questions on the National Herald case, Jaitley said that Congress party has a lot of answering to do.
“If you use exempted money for non-exempted purpose, your exemption will be at stake. Therefore, the Congress party has a lot of answering to do,” he said.