The Opposition on Thursday demanded answers from the Narendra Modi government after several media outlets said diamond merchant Nirav Modi was not in India. The Congress said it will hold a press conference on the issue at 2 pm.
The Congress party, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury insinuated that the Narendra Modi government helped Nirav Modi escape Indian law, just as former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi and industrialist Vijay Mallya were helped.
The Nirav Modi controversy comes at an inopportune time for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The controversy drowned the coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting in Arunachal Pradesh, and party chief Amit Shah’s much touted motorcycle rally in Jind, Haryana. Shah’s rally was to be the launch of the BJP’s election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls.
Guide to Looting Indiaby Nirav MODI
1. Hug PM Modi
2. Be seen with him in DAVOS
Use that clout to:
A. Steal 12,000Cr
B. Slip out of the country like Mallya, while the Govt looks the other way.
#From1MODI2another — Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 15, 2018
If this person had fled India before the FIR on Jan 31, then he is here, photographed at Davos with PM, a week before the FIR, after having escaped from India? Modi govt must clarify. #NiravModi #PublicMoneyLoot pic.twitter.com/gQQnKQNjDo— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 15, 2018
In the last three years, the BJP and the Modi government has been susceptible to criticism by the Congress and other parties of it being a ‘suit boot ki sarkar’, a government of and for moneybags. This criticism had forced the Modi government to shed its reformist image, jettison its land acquisition Bill in early 2015 and focus on ‘garib kalyan’, or welfare of the poor, slogan.
The Modi government and BJP’s narrative in all the recent assembly elections has been to showcase its ‘garib kalyan’ policies, particularly Jan Dhan Yojana and Ujjwala Yojana, while highlighting the corruption during the Congress-led UPA government’s tenure.
But this is what the Opposition leaders said after it became apparent that Nirav Modi might have already left India:
“Who is Nirav Modi? The new #ModiScam? Was he tipped off like Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya to escape by someone within the Government? Has it become the norm for letting people run away with public money? Who is responsible? Please wait for Congress press conference at 2 PM today,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
“Is it possible to believe that he (Nirav Modi) or Vijay Mallya left the country without active connivance of the BJP government?” tweeted AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
CPI (M) chief Sitaram Yechury tweeted: “There is a pattern in how people who have defrauded Banks in India, are allowed to escape by the Modi government”.
Yechury also tweeted a photograph of the PM at Davos with leading Indian industrlalists during the World Economic Forum last month. Nirav Modi is seen in the photograph standing among the industrialists. “If this person had fled India before the FIR on January 31, then he is here, photographed at Davos with PM, a week before the FIR, after having escaped from India? Modi government must clarify. #NiravModi #PublicMoneyLoot,” Yechury tweeted.