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BJP & Congress slam each other over Yes Bank crisis

New Delhi: A war of words broke out between the BJP and Congress on Sunday over the Yes Bank crisis with the ruling party seeking to link it with the Gandhi family, while the opposition wondered if the prime minister and finance minister were "complicit" as the bank's loan book grew manifold.

Posting on Twitter a clip of a news channel report that Rana Kapoor, the arrested Yes Bank founder, had bought a painting from Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, BJP's information and technology wing in-charge Amit Malviya alleged that every financial crime in India has "deep links" with the Gandhis.

The Congress termed the charge "fake".

It said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had sold an M F Hussain painting of her father Rajiv Gandhi to Kapoor for Rs 2 crore, and the entire amount was disclosed in her income tax return of 2010.

Malviya tweeted, "Every financial crime in India has deep link with the Gandhis. Mallya used to send flight upgrade tickets to Sonia Gandhi. Had access to MMS (Manmohan Singh) and PC (P Chidambaram). Is absconding. Rahul inaugurated Nirav Modi's bridal jewellery collection, he defaulted. Rana bought Priyanka Vadra's paintings."

Rubbishing the allegation, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it was a "diversionary" tactic by the government.

He noted that the bank's loan book rose from Rs 55,633 crore in March 2014, the year Narendra Modi became prime minister, to Rs 2,41,499 crore in March 2019.

"Why did the loan book rise by 100 per cent in two years after demonetisation i.e from Rs 98,210 cr in March 2016 to Rs 2,03,534 ar in March 2018? Were PM and FM sleeping, ignorant or complicit?" he asked.

The entire amount Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had received was in cheque and was fully disclosed in the income tax return, Singhvi said.

Kapoor, 62, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai after charges of alleged financial irregularities and mismanagement in the bank's operations surfaced and the RBI and Union government initiated action to control its affairs.

Congress accused the Narendra Modi government of shedding "crocodile tears" for the common people while pursuing policies which will "break" their back. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters that productivity, employment and the rupee have fallen, while inflation, social division along with the government's arrogance have risen.

"This government has failed on all fronts," he said.

Regulators have proposed more than 20 per cent hike in third-party insurance premiums, Singhvi said, adding this will impact most two-wheelers and three-wheelers besides four- wheelers under 1500 cc category.

A similar hike has also been proposed by regulators for life insurance premiums, he added.

The government has enough powers to stop these decisions which, the Congress leader said, will adversely affect the middle and lower-class the worst.

"Decisions taken by this government or rather allowed to be taken by this government without interference, restraint and injunction despite having the power to control and stop is directly impacting three Ps of the common man: purchasing power, planning for future and preparation," he said.

The government has allowed regulators to take these decision while shedding crocodile tears, Singhvi said, adding this indicates a "sinister plan" to break the back of the common man.

Food inflation has been steadily rising and the government recently hiked LPG cylinder price by Rs 144 that will help it pocket over Rs 44,000 crores, he claimed.

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