PM not taking any action on black money,will be yatra agenda: Advani

On the eve of his Jan Chetna Yatra,L K Advani hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “not taking any action” to bring back black money

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:October 10, 2011 2:22 am

On the eve of his Jan Chetna Yatra,L K Advani on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “not taking any action” to bring back black money stashed abroad and said he would raise the issue during his yatra. While Advani will seek to keep the focus of his yatra on corruption and good governance,simultaneous yatras to be taken out by the BJP in Uttar Pradesh would have a tinge of Hindutva flavour.

To kickstart its campaign for the forthcoming Assembly elections in UP,the BJP will take out two yatras — one led by Rajnath Singh and the other by Kalraj Mishra. The yatras would be flagged off simultaneously from Mathura and Varanasi on October 13 and culminate in Ayodhya next month. Ayodhya,Kashi and Mathura were once the core of the BJP’s Hindutva agenda in UP. Advani’s yatra would skip Ayodhya.

Speaking at his residence,Advani made it clear he has not abandoned the issue of black money which he had flagged in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2009. But the campaign lost steam after he himself had to express regret to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in February after a BJP task force report alleged her family held “secret” Swiss bank accounts.

Advani said while he will raise the issue of “rampant corruption and price rise” in his yatra,the issue of black money will figure most prominently. “For the last so many years,I have been saying that huge sums of Indian money has been stashed away abroad in foreign banks,especially in Switzerland,” he said. The issue,he said,was taken up with the Swiss authorities when the NDA was in power,but Switzerland then expressed its inability to return money or share information due to their banking secrecy laws.

However,due to pressure from the US and European countries,the laws were changed and Switzerland allowed access to these banking details,he said,adding that he had drawn the Prime Minister’s attention to the changed scenario as early as in 2009. “I asked him (PM) to put pressure on them (Swiss authorities) and bring the money back but unfortunately he did not take any action in this regard,” he said.

“And when I asked him to at least reveal names of those Indian nationals,who had stashed away money abroad,which was our right to know,he did not reveal that either,” he added. Taking a dig at Singh,he said when he became Prime Minister he used to work under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and the situation was not that bad then.

The former deputy prime minister will go lyrical on black money issue. A song,composed specially for the Jan Chetna Yatra,opens with him reciting a couple of lines commencing with “Thousands of crores of nation’s money in foreign banks….”

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