Senior BJP leader LK Advani cautiously returned to the black money theme on Sunday, calling for its recovery to address country’s poverty. This comes two days after Advani wrote to Sonia expressing deep regret over her family’s name being dragged in by a BJP-commissioned task force on black money.
The move has virtually puncturing the BJP’s aggressive posture on corruption and black money.
Sonia had earlier written a letter to Advani expressing anguish over her family’s name being ‘baselessly’ dragged in the issue.
The BJP clearly tried to put up a brave face on Sunday, with party president Nitin Gadkari discussing black money in a rally to mark the Yeddyurappa government’s 1,000 days in office.
However, the fire in his voice was clearly missing as the controversial BJP task force second report was not mentioned even once.
While it is true that many top BJP leaders were displeased with the task force’s reckless posturing earlier, many see Advani’s U-turn as a politically damaging capitulation.
If Advani and Gadkari broached the issue afresh on Sunday for damage control, it was only partly successful.
In his blog post on Sunday, Advani skipped any mention of the BJP-commissioned task force report that had leveled the allegations against the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Even when he mentioned estimates of the quantum of Indian black money abroad, he skipped the task force’s figure of R25 lakh crore altogether and quoted the estimate of Global Financial Integrity— R20,75,000 crores .
Ironically, while Advani has literally disowned a task force he had till recently celebrated after the fiasco over the Sonia Gandhi letter, even the government has reportedly mentioned the first report of the BJP task force that came out in 2009 in its reply to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance as one of the various estimates — even if not reliable — on the quantum of black money abroad.
Advani’s blog says: “The issue of black money in tax havens abroad must be pursued vigorously. Today, the election law requires every candidate for election to file his assets and liabilities.”
“To deal with this issue of recovering Indian wealth overseas for India, let the law also obligate every candidate to declare on oath that he has no undeclared wealth overseas,” adds Advani.