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'Why chowkidar was asleep when treasury was looted'

Why chowkidar was asleep when treasury was looted

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of "protecting" those involved in the illegal exchange of money post-demonetisation by not ordering a probe on videotapes released by the party, even as it put forth another set of clips showing people involved in the "loot" claiming proximity to the powers-that-be.

Senior party leader Kapil Sibal asked why the "chowkidar" (the watchman) was "asleep" when all this happened. The former Law Minister also alleged the absence of any investigation into the videos given as "proof" indicated that "those involved in this loot are being protected".

Prime Minister often refers to himself as "chowkidar" (the watchman) emphasising his tough stand on corruption. "It now appears that the decision to demonetise may have helped criminals to monetise by looting the treasury and the poor," Sibal claimed.

Those who have collaborated with corruption cannot pretend to be clean, he told reporters at a press conference, where he played the fresh videos purportedly showing how a huge amount of money was exchanged in connivance with bank officials and some others close to the people in power.

He, however, did not authenticate the videos and there was no immediate comment available from the BJP or the government. The party released similar videos on March 26 and April 9.

Sibal alleged that in the April 9 "expose", the party had indicated the alleged involvement of one Rahul Ratharekar, a field assistant, and sought to prove his identity through his identity card, which was seen in the videos released that day.

He claimed that soon after the videos were released on April 9, the Cabinet Secretariat issued a statement claiming that "Rahul Ratharekar had been a Constable level employee of the Cabinet Secretariat but was dismissed in June, 2017 (after 5 years of service) on suspicion of his role in the exchange of old currency notes, post-demonetisation".

"This statement clearly demonstrates that the expose made on the scam, as reflected in the videos shown on March 26, 2019, and April 9, 2019, is genuine and the events seen in the video reflect the manner in which these exchanges took place," he said.

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