Mounting a scathing attack on former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh over his family members’ alleged foreign bank accounts, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the NDA government at the Centre had exposed the Punjab Congress chief by tracing his family members’ Swiss accounts.
Jaitley, who was in Bathinda as a part of celebrations to mark two years of the NDA government, said, “Amarinder often accused Badals of having investments and properties offshore, but what about the foreign accounts in the names of his family members.”
“Though Captain couldn’t find Badals’ offshore property, we have found bank accounts of Amarinder’s family members in Switzerland,” he said.
He added that India was informed about these accounts in 2011, but the UPA government shelved the file. “We pursued and reopened the case officially and brought the truth before the public on the basis of official documents,” he added.
Notably, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned Amarinder’s son Raninder Singh for alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) on June 16, but Raninder failed to appear before ED citing health issues. Amarinder has accused Jaitley, whom he defeated in the Lok Sabha election from Amritsar in 2014, of orchestrating the whole issue.
ON PUNJAB POLITICS
With assembly elections due in Punjab early next year, Jaitley said the coming six months were going to be challenging for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) alliance.
He kept the focus on Punjab politics in his 15-minute speech during the programme attended by BJP workers from Bathinda parliamentary segment.
Targeting the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said Punjab and its people must be saved from the politics and propaganda of these two parties against the SAD-BJP alliance.
“AAP is well-known for its tricks to get publicity by issuing wrong statements and they are doing the same here. The people of Delhi are repenting their decision to vote AAP to power,” he added.
The AAP leaders, he alleged, had a habit of raising unnecessary issues by propagating false propaganda among the public.
However, showering praise on the SAD-BJP government for ensuring development in the state, Jaitley said it was difficult to run a state like Punjab due to its geographical location near the international border, but the alliance government had transformed the state completely during its tenure. “The state government must distribute pamphlets highlighting development works carried out by it so as to counter the false propaganda of the Congress and AAP,” the Union minister suggested.
SUKHBIR ‘HIJACKS’ EVENT
Though the function was aimed at publicising the NDA government’s achievements and initiatives, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal virtually hijacked the event by presenting 30-minute power-point presentation on the state’s development during the past nine years of the SAD-BJP government.
He alleged that the opposition parties were defaming Punjab by propagating “unauthenticated figures” with regard to development in the state. Meanwhile, Union minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal urged Jaitley to come up with a policy for waiving loans of small farmers, besides tax concessions on industry in border areas so that narco-terrorism could be curbed.