NEW DELHI: Even as the issue of black money led to a war of words between the BJP and Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday dropped hints that a Minister in the UPA government is one of those who had stashed money abroad.
Asked if he was not denying that there could be a former Minister, Jaitley quipped: “I am neither confirming nor denying it.” Queried whether there was anyone from the Manmohan Singh cabinet, he said: “I don’t want to give details about that because 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 was among the names, 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.”
Taking strong exception to Jaitley’s remarks, the Congress asked the government to come out with the entire list of names and not be vindictive. The Left parties too joined the issue, demanding a white paper.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken said that the government should desist from selective leakages. “The Congress is not going to be blackmailed under any such threat. Do not try to blackmail us. Stricter possible action should be taken against whoever is involved in it but that should not be inspired by vindictiveness and it should also be not half-truth,” Maken said.
Ridiculing the Congress, the BJP asked, “Why is Congress upset over black money probe?”
Not to be outdone, Congress leader Digvijay Singh taunted the government for vowing during the election campaign that black money would be brought back within 100 days of the BJP being elected. He tweeted, “The FM instead of bluffing people should tell us when he is depositing `3 lakh in a/c of every citizen as promised by Modi in his campaign speeches.”
Youth Congress president Rajiv Satava too joined the fray. He said on twitter, “A traitor is a traitor. He is neither a Congressman nor a BJP man. What is stopping Jaitley from naming the traitors?” Reminding the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maken said: “People of the country are waiting that when will the government bring back black money.”
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said that all accounts held by Indians abroad must be examined.