A day after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley attacked him over his family’s alleged foreign accounts, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Monday hit back at him, accusing him of trying to “avenge his humiliating defeat” in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
He also asked the senior BJP leader to “furnish the address with the proof of ownership” of properties abroad and said he would “produce all the evidence” as how he was “trying to abuse his position” to target him.
The Congress’ deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, who defeated Jaitley in the 2014 General Elections from Amritsar, lashed out at him for allegedly behaving like the “spokesman of the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department and not as their boss”.
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“Time, they say, is a great healer, but unfortunately nothing seems to work or heal for Jaitley”, he said, while reacting to Jaitley’s charges made during a speech in Bathinda on Sunday.
“The way Jaitley spat venom at me, has only vindicated and validated my stand that he is trying to avenge his humiliating defeat by unleashing these departments (the ED and IT) at me and my family”,” Amarinder said.
Addressing a ‘Vikas Parv’ rally in Bathinda, Jaitley on Sunday said, “I recall when there was Congress government in Punjab in 2002 led by Capt Amarinder Singh, he used to cook up stories about the Badal family, claiming that they have land in Australia, petrol pump in America, besides levelling other charges, but he failed to prove the allegations. We have found accounts of Capt Sahib’s family.”
The PCC president said, it was good that the Finance Minister “betrayed” his intentions at Bathinda yesterday, as it will further strengthen his case and establish that the ED was “directly acting” under the minister’s instructions.
“Unfortunately Jaitley seems to have chosen and resolved not to let his wounds and the bruised ego to heal over his humiliating defeat in Amritsar, even after the passage of two long years”, the PCC president said, adding, “anyway, if he has chosen to use his agencies to avenge that defeat, I am ready for it and will fight it to the finish and expose his ulterior motives and intentions”.
“It is not only unprecedented but also unbecoming of a minister to make a suo motu statement related to investigations being carried out by the department under him, which only justifies our stand that he has a personal grudge and score to settle with me”, Amarinder alleged, claiming “the courts will also take note of it, as it is difficult to expect the ED and IT to do fair investigations when their boss has already pronounced us the guilty”.
On Jaitley’s claims that he has located Amarinder’s “illegal properties” abroad, the former Punjab CM asked him to furnish the address with the proof of ownership and not rely on the “documents which someone stole” from a Swiss Bank years ago and sold to the French government, that in turn gave to the government of India.
He also alleged, “Jaitley was behaving as if he was the sole and ultimate arbitrator in the matter, than just an aggrieved (over his Amritsar defeat) complainant.”
“I have firm faith in law of the land and I will produce all the evidence as how Jaitley is trying to abuse his position to target me”, he said, while alleging , “immediately after taking over as the Finance Minister, he had asked a senior official of the Income Tax department to ‘find something’ to fix me, which the officer refused saying there was nothing against me that can stand the legal scrutiny”.
Taking a dig at Jaitley, Amarinder said, “much against the public perception, you have turned out to be a mediocre lawyer with a parochial mindset that can stoop to any depths totarget his political opponents”.