It’s a CD war now. A day after the BJP released a video to attack Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra on his alleged land deals, the Congress on Monday hit back, accusing BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of having “close links” with a Surat-based “hawala” operator.
The Congress also released pictures and a video that shows the alleged hawala operator, Afroz Phatta, among a group of people with Modi and other BJP leaders.
Phatta’s house and office in Surat were searched by the Enforcement Directorate ED on March 22 this year in connection with a multi-crore hawala or money laundering case. Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that the ED had unearthed a Rs. 700 crore hawala racket during the raid.
“What is the nature of relationship of Modi with the alleged hawala kingpin?” he asked.
Surjewala sought to know if pictures of the diamond trader on Modi's and BJP's website holding meetings in the Gujarat chief minister's office “reflect a proximate relationship that needs to be examined and investigated”.
“Will Mr Modi agree to an independent probe?” he asked. The Congress also questioned Modi’s alleged links with underworld don Bablu Srivastava.
Minutes later, the BJP retorted by releasing a picture of Congress MP Mohammad Azharuddin with Phatta. The picture was tweeted by BJP MLA Harsh R Sanghvi.
Over the past few days, the Congress and the BJP have been engaged in allegations and counter-allegations over the alleged links with hawala operators
Addressing a public meeting in Bharuch in Gujarat, Modi had alleged that an unnamed “close confidante” of 10, Janpath is involved in a multi-crore hawala racket run by a meat exporter.
Modi had earlier claimed that Hasan Ali, a Pune based businessman accused of laundering black money, had been “saved” by the Congress president.