Money & Banking

Opposition targets PM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 15, 2018

Asks how Nirav Modi escaped from the country despite whistleblowers approaching the PMO in 2017

The Opposition targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Punjab National Bank scam involving jeweller Nirav Modi. The Opposition asked Modi to clarify how Nirav Modi escaped from the country despite whistleblowers having approached the Prime Minister’s Office in 2017 on the scam.

The Congress termed the charges by BJP leaders that the scam took place in 2011 when Congress was in power as “double-speak” to divert attention.

“A fraud is happening under your nose. All your regulations, risk management system, fraud detection ability, financial intelligence unit, PMO, Corporate Affairs Ministry, ROC — what were they doing for four years? How did they permit the accused to escape? So, instead of diverting attention and meting out lies, they should answer the truth,” said Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

In a sarcastic tone, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted about the guide to looting India. “1. Hug PM Modi. 2. Be seen with him in Davos. Use that clout to: A. Steal ₹12,000 crore; B. Slip out of the country like (Vijay) Mallya, while the government looks the other way.”

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Prime Minister must clarify if Nirav Modi had fled India before the FIR on January 31. “PM must answer what action he took when his office was informed of the scam done against Indian banks and loot of public money. PM’s refusal to come clean only points the needle of suspicion towards complicity in the loot of public money,” he said.

Terming Nirav Modi as Chhota Modi, Surjewala said the Prime Minister had been informed about the scam as early as July 26, 2017, and the PMO had acknowledged it and had referred the issue to authorities. “Why were all the authorities... sleeping on their job and not detecting this fraud,” Surjewala asked.

Published on February 15, 2018

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