PNB scam: Congress says Modi, Jaitley knew country was being looted

Congress leader Kapil Sibal accuses the NDA government of institutionalising crony capitalism, asks the PM to reveal who travels with him on his official trips.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2018 17:26 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service, New Delhi
PNB fraud,Punjab National Bank,Congress
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI file photo )

The Congress on Saturday made a direct allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley, saying “both were aware that the country was being looted” in the over Rs 11,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

The party asked if Modi will order a probe in the fraud.

”Why is PM Modi refusing to disclose who travels with him on his official trips? Is this the kind of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ PM Modi talks about,” asked Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

“Some corporates are among the private persons who travel with the prime minister on official trips. I want to ask ever since he (Modi) became PM, how many assets have Nirav Modi bought and how much loans has he taken.

“You will get to know that banks’ loans will be more and assets less. Will PM Modi order an inquiry on the PNB scam. These are all scams in the waiting,” he added.

Sibal also said: “You have institutionalised crony capitalism. They buy assets with our money and when they become defaulters, they flee the country.”

“The kind of Ease of Doing Business Nirav Modi has done, India has become number one in Ease of Doing Business,” Sibal said sarcastically.

He further challenged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to talk about UPA’s governance and their governance.

“Because of their ill-intentions, they have brought India’s economy to its knees. BJP should be ashamed of calling 2G a scam. It should be ashamed of bringing country’s economy to its knees. IT, communication sector is under huge debt.”

“What was PMO doing when big bank scams were happening? Finance Ministry and PMO were aware that this country was being looted. We are making direct allegation against the prime minister and finance minister. They turned a blind eye. They knew that the country is being looted,” he added.

“According to CBI FIR, there are a total of 151 LOUs (Letters of Undertaking) in 2017, and the payments were due in 2018. why there is no clarification from FM and why is the PM silent,” Sibal asked.

Read | As probe into PNB case widens, a look at what led to the loan fraud

Sibal also said: “What has HRD Ministry, Social Justice Ministry and Law Minister got to do with Nirav Modi and the scam? Why is the Finance Minister not answering to our questions related to the scam.”

“PM Modi, if you don’t take action against those who are holding banks’ 70-80 thousand crores, who will show faith in the Indian economy. People have lost faith in you and the way you are destroying our economy, soon people will lose faith in India,” he said.

“The state of the country is such that the chowkidar (PM) is sleeping and the thief has escaped,” Sibal added.

The party also asked why Modi was silent on the issue and how did the agencies permit billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others to leave India.

“When a complaint was lodged against Mehul Choksi in the PMO, it was not even taken into consideration,” said Sibal.

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 16:44 IST