Hitting back at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his criticism of demonetisation, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the opposition party should “introspect” its contribution towards ills like corruption and black money. Attacking the Congress, the Union Information and Broadcasting minister said the party which has ruled India for the maximum time should give answers as it has all along “patronised” black money and corruption. He said that as the Congress celebrates its Foundation Day and it is only appropriate that the issue of black money, corruption etc, are “haunting” it.
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Referring to Rahul’s comments earlier in the day, Naidu said that the Congress Vice president had expressed unwisely his “vicarious pleasure” over what he thought that note withdrawal is a big failure in terms of unearthing black money.
“This clearly shows that his party is with those who all along lived by black money and corruption….One of the objectives of note withdrawal has been to see that high value currency notes reach the system.
“Whatever does not reach banking system obviously could be taken as unaccounted for money. It does not necessarily mean that all the currency that reached the banking system is white money,” Naidu said.
One would have known by now that December 30 is not the last day of efforts for unearthing black money, he added.
Claiming that spit and run won’t work, Naidu posed five questions to Rahul and Congress. He asked them to explain whether they believe that there is no black money and corruption in the country and there was no need for any measures to tackle them?
If Congress believes that there is a problem of black money and corruption, why did it’s governments not take effective measures against them, he asked.
Naidu also asked why Congress government brought the Benami Property law before Parliament in 1988 but did not subsequently notified it?
Why some major opposition parties are refusing to join hands with Congress in its anti-note withdrawal campaign? he asked Naidu asked.
Why Congress Government didn’t act on Supreme Court’s directive for setting up SIT on black money, was Naidu’s fifth question.
Referring to Congress Vice President’s remarks earlier, Naidu claimed that “Rahul’s smile and body language today clearly indicated that there is not much of black money in the country.”
Then why don’t you muster courage and openly say so if his party’s assessment is that there is not much of black money, Naidu said.
Everyone knows the close link between black money and corruption, Naidu said adding that if Congress says there is no black money in our economy, obviously, there is no place for corruption in our system. “Is this the stand of the Congress?” he asked.
Naidu said that Congress is in panic and trying to create confusion. He claimed that Congress is worried as nobody was taking Rahul seriously, whether it is the people, opposition leaders or his own partymen. That is why the opposition leaders’ distanced from the meeting, Naidu claimed.
He said that Congress and communists are disappointed as the people have continued to support the crackdown on black money. Only some political parties which have been beneficiaries of the loot appear to be shaken, he claimed.
When asked about the demand by Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi that the Prime Minister should quit, Naidu said that it was people’s love that had made Modi the Prime Minister and not the pleasure of these opposition leaders.
Asked about the criticism by opposition regarding the use of Ordinance route by the Government, Naidu said that Congress has itself issued hundreds of ordinances.
Responding to another question about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Naidu said that she should first set her house in order.
He added that secularism has been made to mean talking about only the minority. He said what is happening in Bengal is “disturbing.”
In a question related to the happenings at the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Naidu said it was a wrong decision and therefore the government had taken appropriate steps.
Attacking the Congress, he said that rather than asking questions to the government, it should explain why it encouraged such people.