Stop behaving as if you are guilty: Rahul to BJP brass
NEW DELHI: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted again on Sunday, demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley speak out on the Rs. 11,300 crore Punjab National Bank fraud involving celebrity diamond jeweller Nirav Modi. The Congress has launched an all-out attack on the Prime Minister over the issue, claiming that a fraud of such scale could not have taken place without "top-level protection".
At the party's steering committee meeting yesterday, Mr Gandhi had said instead of spending time to talk about countering exam-related stress to schoolchildren, the prime minister should tell people what is going to be done to Nirav Modi and "what is he going to do to make sure that the banking system is safe".
The Central Bureau of Investigation has already asked the Interpol to arrest the 48-year-old, who is currently in New York. The jeweller, his family and uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi had fled the country on January 1, before the agency had filed a case against him.
Mr Gandhi was referring to "Pariksha par Charcha" - an interactive session the Prime Minister held with school children on Friday, a day after the raids linked to the fraud case were conducted across India.
Contending that the Prime Minister's Office was informed about fraud after a whistle-blower, the Congress questioned how the jeweller was allowed to fly aboard and be part of PM Modi's delegation in Davos despite that. In a dig at PM Modi, the party also called Nirav Modi "Chhota Modi (Little Modi)".
The BJP said it is trying to clean up the mess created during the Congress regime. Senior ministers of PM Modi's cabinet have already spoken about the issue.
Yesterday, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi's family had business links with Nirav Modi. Firestar Diamond International, the company owned by Nirav Modi, had taken on lease the property of a company in which Mr Singhvi's wife is a director, she said. Mr Singhvi has called the allegations "ludicrous" and threatened to take legal action.
Last week, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said referring to Nirav Modi as "Chhota Modi (Little Modi)" was "shameful, derogatory, scandalous and demeaning" to the Prime Minister.
Nirav Modi's assets worth Rs. 1,300 crore have been seized and his passport is being revoked. The investigation was proceeding at "great speed" and strong action would be taken against anyone found involved in the fraud, he had added.