New Delhi: Daring the government to make public names of all those having foreign bank accounts, the Congress on Wednesday alleged that the BJP had “befooled” the public on the issue during the election campaign and questioned as to what happened to its promise of bringing back black money.
Slamming the ruling party for making “tall” promises on black money during the Lok Sabha polls, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it had vowed to disclose “55,000 accounts” during the election campaign but “even Rs. 55 has not come in five months” after it came to power. The BJP, however, insisted that that the Centre was sincere in its intention to bring back the black money stashed abroad and was effectively working in this direction.
The Congress’ attack on the black money issue came as the Centre placed a list of 627 Indian account holders in HSBC bank, Geneva before the Supreme Court, complying with its direction. “It is wrong for any political party to try to fool the people by taking credit for anything. You have been promising as a party in power some 55,000 accounts some nine months in the election campaign. Even Rs. 55 has not come in five months. What you have done today is entirely on yesterday’s court order,” Mr. Singhvi said.
His colleague and Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “During the last five years, BJP has been shouting that if they have the names, they will make it public and bring back the black money within 100 days and distribute it among the public. “So, they have to stand by their words. L.K. Advani had come up with an adjournment motion in 2011 on the issue of black money. Therefore, the government should immediately make public all those names.”
Defending the action of presenting the names before the apex court, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government is sensitive to the issue, is sincere in its actions and is working in this direction effectively. To a question on government bowing to the Supreme Court order while disclosing names, he said, “It is not a question of bowing down. Our intention is to bring back the black money wherever it is parked in the world.
“There is a legal process and the government is working strongly in this direction.” Mr. Naqvi said the government has been working in this direction right from day one with all sincerity and entered into understanding with other countries and encouraged them to cooperate and with SIT. “This resulted in disclosure of some things one after another. The government has respected whatever the court has said and whatever the information the government had, it has given it,” he said.
The apex court on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team to go through the list and take appropriate action in accordance with law. A bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu did not open the sealed envelope containing the names placed by the Centre and said that it would be opened only by chairman and vice-chairman of the SIT.
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