NEW DELHI: The ongoing war of words between the ruling NDA and the Opposition on the issue of black money continued on Wednesday.
Taking strong exception to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks that disclosure of the names will embarrass the Congress, the Opposition party asked the government to come out with the entire list of the illegal account holders and not to be vindictive.
Meanwhile, the Left parties have demanded a White Paper on the issue and asked the government to honour its commitment.
Reacting to Jaitley’s remarks, Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said the government should desist from selective leakage. “Don’t try to blackmail us. The Congress is not going to be blackmailed by any such threat. Strict action should be taken against all those involved in the crime but that should not be prompted by vindictiveness,” Maken said.
Reminding the government of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Lok Sabha campaign, Maken said, “The people of the country are waiting to know when will the government bring back black money. It is going to be 150 days (since the government came to power). But not a single penny has been brought back yet.”
Modi, during his Lok Sabha election campaign, had said if the black money was brought back, each citizen would have `15 lakh, while then BJP president Rajnath Singh had promised to bring back black money within 100 days. “Do not mislead people about names. They are waiting for the government to bring back black money. 100 days have already passed. So far not not a single penny has come,” the Congress leader said.
Maken said the Congress wants the government to come out with all the names instead of selective and vindictive leakages.
Reacting to the Finance Minister’s remarks, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the government had gone back from its earlier promise. He pointed out that naming some people has been done in the past too and it serves no purpose.
Yechuri said all the accounts being held by Indians abroad must be examined to find out if they are legal or not and on the basis of it, a White Paper has to be brought out.
Referring to Jaitley’s remarks, CPI leader D Raja said it is not a question of whether it (disclosure of names) will embarrass the Congress or not, but an issue concerned with the people of the country. “The government should do its job and the BJP should honour its commitment,” Raja said.