The Congress on Friday trained its guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his government’s stand in the Supreme Court that all information on black money stashed in foreign banks cannot be made public, asking if his pre-poll promise was “mere rhetoric”.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi cited four tweets by Modi before the Lok Sabha elections in which he had slammed the previous Manmohan Singh government for its “lack of commitment” to bring back black money from foreign banks.
“This is not only a hiatus between the words and deeds of BJP but sheer hypocrisy and dishonesty with the public of India. Modi government's functioning is defined in the hiatus between speech and reality and action and words,” he said.
“One wonders whether his black money rhetoric was meant for pre-election audience.”
Tackling black money was part of the BJP’s manifesto for 2014 polls and the Modi government soon after assuming office constituted a special investigation team (SIT) headed by retired judge MB Shah to look into the issue of black money, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Singhvi recalled that the BJP had attacked the then UPA finance minister and now President Pranab Mukherjee after he had talked about the difficulty in naming the Swiss bank account-holders due to the secrecy clause.
“Will PM apologise for giving false hopes to the public?” he asked. “Modi and BJP made hyperbole on black money only to garner votes.”
Singhvi and his party colleague Ajay Maken wondered whether Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and Kiran Bedi will sit on fast unto death at front of Prime Minister’s residence on the issue. “If they are going to do so, the party would like to know when and where,” Singhvi said.
However, the BJP said the NDA government was committed to bringing back the black money stashed abroad. “It was our government which took a decision, in the very first meeting of the union cabinet, to set up an SIT on this issue,” party spokesman Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said.