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Black money: Oppn sees red, walks out

‘If we indulge in a populist and adventurist stance, it will help the black money account holders,’ Jaitley said, replying to a debate in the Upper House on the issue. He will reply on Thursday to a similar debate being held in the Lok Sabha. He said it was not a question of whether to disclose names of those who hold black money accounts, but when to do so. The Opposition demanded during the debate that the government reveal the names.

On a day when desperate opposition groups showed solidarity on the issue, the treasury benches in both the houses found it difficult to defend when asked why they have failed to deliver on the promises of bringing back black money within 100 days of coming to power. Leading a frontal attack on Prime Ministers’ Office (PMO), Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs slammed the NDA government for making false promises in bringing back the ill-gotten money and using the issue only to gain votes before the Lok Sabha poll.

The situation turned acrimonious in Lok Sabha when BJP MP Anuragh Thakur raised the issue of Saradha chit fund scam in Lok Sabha and alleged that Trinamool MPs used the black money to fund Bangladeshi terrorists. This invited an equally spirited reprisal from the Trinamool. Party MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay warned the BJP that they should not challenge the credibility and honesty of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

‘Prime Minister has misled the Parliament and the people of India on black money. He must apologise on the floor of the House for failing to bring back black money. Now more than 100 days have been passed and no progress has been made.’ They protested both inside and outside the house against the government for making false promises and bringing Bills, which were anti people. They were backed by the Janata Dal (U), SP, Congress, BJD and parties from South India.

While replying the Upper House, Jaitley said, ‘We are completely committed over the issue. SIT on black money has made its first report to the Supreme Court. It will make second report before 30 November. Out of 627 HSBC cases, we were able to trace out around 427 cases. The issue is not whether to disclose names in the black money list, it is when to disclose them’, he said while admitting that getting evidence from other countries was complex.

Initiating the debate in Lok Sabha Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, ‘Where is my 15 lakh you promised to deposit in my account? I haven’t got it and it has been 150 days. You have not kept up to your promise. You also said we must honour the patriotism of our salaried class and that you will give them the money. Baba Ramdev had said he had 50,000 names. But you have indulged in selective leaks,’ Kharge asked the FM.   
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