NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday stepped up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Punjab National Bank fraud case involving diamond trader Nirav Modi.
In a tweet, Rahul demanded the Prime Minister to end his silence in the high-profile case. He also took a swipe at Arun Jaitley, saying the Union finance minister was nowhere to be seen.
“PM Modi tells kids how to pass exams for 2 hrs, but won’t speak for 2 mins on the 22,000Cr banking scam. Mr Jaitley is in hiding. Stop behaving as if you’re guilty! Speak up (sic),” the Congress chief tweeted, alluding to the PM’s interaction with students at the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ programme on February 16.
Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from the state-owned bank to secure overseas credit from other lenders. The Enforcement Directorate has seized diamonds, gold jewellery and other precious stones worth `5,674 crore till now.
Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded that the “full truth” must come out. “This is just the tip of the iceberg. This big banking fraud was fuelled at the time of #DeMonetisation. Big money laundering happened during DeMo. Key bank officials were changed. Who are these people put in? There are more banks involved. The full truth must come out (sic),” she tweeted.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury also took potshots at the NDA government. “Poor farmers forced to commit suicide, while rich businessmen friends are invited to PM’s residence and Davos so that they can scoot with public money,” he tweeted.
In Bhopal, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav demanded the NDA government’s resignation for failing to protect the money of ordinary depositors. “A government is the most powerful entity after god. If it cannot protect public money, who else will? They (the NDA government should immediately resign,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Congress party demanded the government bring out a white paper on the banking system, which it said suffered scams involving over `61,000 crore in the last five years.
“Bank frauds are tumbling out of the closet faster than you can say Jack Robinson,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, adding Vikram Kothari — the owner of Rotomac pens who owes `800 crore to banks — was now untraceable. With agency inputs
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“PM Modi tells kids how to pass exams for 2 hrs, but won’t speak for 2 mins on the 22,000Cr banking scam. Mr Jaitley is in hiding. Stop behaving as if you’re guilty!