Amidst reports of her name figuring in the list of persons having bank accounts in Switzerland to avoid tax and stash away black money, former Union minister and now Congress MLA from Patiala, Preneet Kaur has denied of having any HSBC or other foreign bank account. She, however, admitted that the income tax department had quizzed her in this regard in 2011, when she was minister of state for foreign affairs in the UPA regime.
Even during the Lok Sabha elections, which she had lost, Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had lodged complaints against her in this regard at Patiala, and at Amritsar, from where her husband Capt Amarinder Singh contested and won against Arun Jaitley, who is now Union finance minister. Claiming that Preneet had an HSBC account in Switzerland, the SAD had demanded rejection of both Preneet and Amarinder's nomination papers "for concealing facts". However, the Election Commission had rejected the complaint.
On Monday, she stressed, "I can confirm receiving such (I-T) notice in 2011, and having replied to it, wherein I have strongly denied any such allegations."
She added in a written statement, "In keeping with my reply to the I-T department, I would like to state that I never have had, and do not have any bank account (s) overseas in my name with any foreign bank."
As the 'black money' issue gathers steam, even Jaitley had said last week that it would be embarrassing for the Congress if the list of persons having foreign accounts was made public.