Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi are on the list of people who have stashed black money in safe havens abroad.
“I have written letter to the Finance Ministry and the Commission on black money that Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have black money stashed abroad. But no action has been taken. At least eight former cabinet ministers of the Congress are on the list,” said Swamy while reacting to the government’s move revealing the names of three persons in the black money case to the Supreme Court.
The Communist Party of India (CPI), however, slammed the ruling BJP and alleged that it was making false claims to the people about bringing the black money allegedly stashed in foreign bank accounts back to the country.
“They said the Congress was protecting the black money holders. The BJP protested against the affidavit that the Congress had filed during their reign. Now, the same affidavit is being submitted by Arun Jaitley,” said CPI leader Atul Anjan.
“Initially, they said they will reveal names of 800 people involved with this issue, now they are saying they cannot reveal all the names due to legal obligations and will publish only 136 names. I think isn’t it getting delayed because the BJP supporters themselves are involved in it?” he asked.
The CPI leader further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who highlighted the black money issue during his campaigns before the Lok Sabha elections, should now get to the truth.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that the people have every right to know about the status of the money stashed in foreign bank accounts.
“We are waiting. The entire country is waiting. The government should reveal all the 800 names that are with them to people. The country must know that who are the backstabbers of the country,” said Alvi.
The ruling BJP had raised the issue of black money during the campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and repeatedly questioned the stand of the former Congress-led UPA regime.
The NDA government is putting pressure particularly on Switzerland, seeking details of Indians who have parked unaccounted money in the Alpine country’s highly secretive banks. It has quickly implemented a Supreme Court directive to set up a high-powered special investigation team, headed by retired judge MB Shah, to look into the issue.
While there are no official estimates, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based think-tank, has estimated that Indians had parked $ 462 billion in overseas tax havens between 1948 and 2008.
Earlier, the government had told the apex court that it could not disclose the names of those who have deposited money in banks abroad as it would jeopardise tax agreements with nations providing those names to India.
There were murmurs of protest within the ruling BJP that not disclosing names would hurt the party’s image after it had made bringing back black money, a key issue in the general elections that it won by a landslide. The Centre’s stand also drew a strong response from the Congress, which accused it of hypocrisy.
In response, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently said the disclosing of names of people holding black money accounts will embarrass the opposition party.