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BJP, Cong blame each other for PNB scam

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The BJP and the today blamed each other for the Rs 11,400 crore fraud case involving the even as the latter called the scam's main accused as "chhota Modi" sparking condemnation from the ruling party. The rival parties also traded allegations over a picture of with and a business delegation accompanying him to at the meet last month. The targeted the government over the scam allegedly involving billionaire jewellery and accused it of doing nothing to stop "independent India's biggest bank fraud" despite being informed of it in July, 2016. "and escape" had become the hallmark of the government, the party said, equating the celebrity with liquor baron Vijay Mallya, former chief and other such as who had fled the country after allegedly committing frauds worth crores of rupees. led the charge, alleging that the NDA government looked the other way when used his "clout" with the to slip out of the country. "Guide to looting by Nirav Modi--1. Modi 2. Be seen with him in Use that clout to: A. Steal 12,000 crore B.

Slip out of the country like Mallya, while the government looks the other way," Gandhi said on The also released a picture of with the business delegation accompanying the to at the meet last month. Dubbing "Chhota Modi two" and "Chhota Modi one", communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala asked if the billionaire jewellery had a tip-off that prompted him to leave the country. "Billionaire steals Rs 12,000 crore right under the nose of the and flees the country. Ironically, was later spotted with PM Modi in Davos," Surjewala said, adding, "Has it become the norm for letting people run away with public money? Who is responsible?" Lashing out at the prime minister, he said, "This is the biggest bank scam of independent and who permitted this scam to happen? Why did the not take any action despite knowing about it on July 26, 2016?" The BJP while declaring that no one irrespective of stature will be spared by the probe agencies, condemned the Congress' attack on the as "baseless". The party fielded to counter allegations against the and he dubbed the Congress' reference of "chhota Modi" for Nirav Modi, as "derogatory, demeaning, shameful, utterly irresponsible and scandalous". Official sources also pointed out that was not part of prime minister's official delegation to as being claimed by the Asked at the press conference about the action taken by the after Bengaluru resident warned it in a letter in July 2016 against and other accused, Prasad said it was acknowledged and what action different departments took will be conveyed later. Seeking to turn the heat on the Congress, Prasad pointed out that the alleged fraud had started in 2011 when it was in power and questioned whose "blessings" were with Mehul Choksi, Nirav's business partner, as the income of Choksi's firm doubled between 2011-13. The fraud has been unearthed under our government and action is being taken, he said. Prasad also said that Nirav was not part of the prime minister's delegation to and had come to the Swiss town on his own. He joined a CII delegation for a group photograph with him, he said. "I wish to deny this with full authority. No personal meeting (of Nirav) with the took place." "Those living in glass houses, which are already broken, should not throw stones at us as the is working with full honesty..." Attacking Rahul Gandhi, Prasad referred to a tweet by a disgruntled and claimed that the had gone to attend an event organised by Choksi in 2013. He claimed that the Congress' attack on the government was borne out of its "pain" over its electoral losses and it will lose to the BJP in as well. He asked the not to do photo politics- a reference to Nirav's presence in a group picture with the prime minister- and said his party also has "cozy" photos of its leaders with Choksi but it will not stoop to this low. and the Trinamool attacked the government on the PNB fraud case and asked it to clarify how was present in a group photo of Indian CEOs with the in CPI(M) questioned how was allowed to escape the country.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 21:35 IST