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"BJP Friends Among Top Bank Scammers": Rahul Gandhi Cites RBI List

BJP Friends Among Top Bank Scammers: Rahul Gandhi Cites RBI List

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday cornered the government after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a list of top 50 wilful defaulters accused of cheating Indian banks, saying that the BJP had "hidden" the list from parliament because it included friends of the ruling party.

"I asked a simple question in parliament - tell me the names of 50 biggest bank scammers. Finance Minister refused to reply. Now RBI has put names of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and other BJP friends in the list. This is why they hid the truth from parliament," Mr Gandhi tweeted in Hindi along with a video.

Rahul Gandhi's attack came after the Congress seized a response by RBI to a Right To Information (RTI) application filed by activist Saket Gokhale in which the central bank listed the top 50 wilful defaulters accused of defrauding Indian banks and loans taken out by them that have been written off.

This is why Finance Minister @nsitharaman tried to escape from a straight & clear question asked by Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government had "waived" Rs 68,607 crore in loans by the 50 defaulters, including fugitive business tycoons Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya.

The Congress also alleged that the government waived loans worth Rs 6.66 lakh crore since 2014 till September 2019.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala released the list of the top loan defaulters in the country, as per the RTI reply, and demanded answers from the prime minister on why their loans were waived.

"This is a classic case of promoting ''dupe, deceive and depart'' policy of the Modi government, which can no longer be accepted and the prime minister has to answer," he told reporters through video conference.

Mr Surjewala also said "this reflects the misconceived priorities and dishonest intentions of the Modi government".

The Indian banking system is reeling under over 10 lakh crore in bad debt, according to news agency Reuters, that has been brought into sharp focus after a number of incidents of billionaires fleeing the country to escape prosecution in recent years and disastrous financial crises at high-profile institutions.

While the opposition has questioned the proximity of the BJP to the rogue businesses and their owners, the government has blamed most of the scandals on the Congress that was in power before 2014, saying it had only helped uncover the scams.

(Inputs from ndtv.com)

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