Congress demands Jaitley’s resignation over alleged bank frauds

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Congress demands Jaitley's resignation over alleged bank frauds

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday sought Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignation claiming his daughter Sonali and son-in-law Jayesh Bakshi, allegedly received a retainership of Rs 24 lakh from fugitive diamantaire, Mehul Choksi.

Congress leader Sachin Pilot, while addressing a press conference along with party colleagues Rajiv Satav and Sushmita Dev, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of conniving with fraudsters. He alleged, “Arun Jaitley, being Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, his daughter Sonali Jaitley and son-in-law Jaiyesh Bakshi proceeded to accept a retainership of Rs 24 lakh from Mehul Choksi’s fraudster company Gitanjali Gems Ltd in December 2017.”

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Attacking further, Pilot said: “On January 4, 2018, Mehul Choksi escaped India. On January 31, 2018, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged FIR against Mehul Choksi and others for bank frauds. A second FIR was lodged by CBI and against Mehul Choksi on February 15, 2018. The Enforcement Directorate has recorded evidence that Mehul Choksi was making sale of his all immovable properties since Nov. 2017.”

“On February 20, 2018, Finance Minister’s daughter and son-in-law, Sonali Jaitley and Jaiyesh of ‘Jaitley and Associates’ redeposited Rs.24,00,000 in ICICI Bank, Bandra (Mumbai) A/cs of Gitanjali Gems Ltd,” read a statement of the three leaders.

“Is this not a clear-cut case of Collusion, Connivance’ & ‘Conflict of Interest’ on part of FM Arun Jaitley? Why were FM Jaitley, his daughter and son-in-law neither summoned nor questioned by CBI/ED/SFIO?” the three leaders asked in the statement. “Is it not a fit case to sack Arun Jaitley and conduct a full independent investigation?” they added.
The leaders questioned as to why no action was taken against Choksi, Nirav Modi, Geetanjali Gems Ltd and others, despite FIRs and multiple complaints.

“Why did Finance Ministry/ED/CBI/SFIO wait until January 31, 2018, helping them escape on January 6, 2018? Who protected them?” the leaders asked.

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“Why were daughter and son-in-law of FM Arun Jaitley paid Rs 24 lakh by Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Gems Ltd. without doing any work, as admitted by them? Who else are the clients of ‘Chambers of Jaitley and Associates’ paying retainership of lakhs of rupees and why should their names not be made public, including amounts received?” the statement from the Congress leaders read.

“As people who owed money to Mehul Choksi/Nirav Modi came forward and deposited the money with Government after their (Choksi, Modi) fraudulent escape, why did FM Jaitley’s daughter and son-in-law redeposit Rs 24 lakh in the account of a company that had defrauded the banks and people of Rs. 26,306 Cr? Why did they hide it?” it added.

Pilot alleged that in the 44 months till January 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has witnessed an unprecedented 19,000 ‘bank fraud cases’ involving Rs 90,000 crore.

He further claimed that 23 bank fraudsters have left India under the central government’s watch.

The Congress party alleged that Prime Minister Modi-led government is not a guardian of “public money” but a “travel agency” facilitating “fraud, fleece and fly to foreign shores” of willful bank defaulters like Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

“Successive escapes of Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others reflect that the Modi government is not a guardian of public money but a travel agency facilitating fraud, fleece and fly to foreign shores by willful bank defaulters,” the statement of the three leaders read.


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