The Congress on Monday alleged that Arun Jaitley was trying to influence the Enforcement Directorate (ED), following the finance minister’s statement from the US describing former IPL chief Lalit Modi’s investments in BJP MP Dushyant Singh’s company as “commercial transactions”.
Rajya Sabha deputy leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the finance minister’s remarks came amid the additional solicitor general’s statement before the Delhi high court that the ED was looking into the issue.
“This means he is directly intervening in the case, instead of assuring the nation that action will be taken in accordance with the undertaking given by the ED,” Azad said.
HT tried to contact Jaitley in the US for his response but could not reach him.
The finance minister told reporters in the US on Saturday that he doesn’t want to comment on Lalit Modi’s Rs 11 crore investments in the company owned by Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s son, Dushyant.
“It’s a commercial transaction between two individuals,” he said.
He also refused to be dragged into the controversy. “How the government could be concerned with a several year-old loan transaction, which is a commercial loan transaction by cheque with all banking approvals in a declared loan transaction?” he asked.
But the Congress alleged that the finance minister’s statement was an attempt to give “a direction in this case to the ED” which is investigating the alleged financial irregularities of Lalit Modi.
Azad said the Prime Minister “should take action against the finance minister” and his party would wait for Narendra Modi’s reply. “We fear there is every possibility that after this (Jaitley’s) statement, the ED will be influenced.”