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Congress leader questions Narendra Modi’s silence on Panama Papers leak

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-07-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks of eradicating corruption during his Mann ki Baat programmes but has remained silent on one of the biggest corruption scandals—Panama Paper leaks.

Congress leader Pawan Khera asked Modi what action had been taken against Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh over the Panama Papers issue, citing the case of Nawaz Sharif who quit as Pakistani prime minister.

“The prime minister speaks at length on corruption, but ignores Panama paper leaks. (On Saturday Congress vice- president) Rahul Gandhi mentioned about Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh’s son and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek. His (Abhishek Singh) name appeared in the Panama Papers, (but) what action have you taken in this regard,” Khera asked, suggesting that Modi should take cue from Pakistan on this.

The Pakistan Supreme Court on 28 July disqualified 67-year-old Nawaz Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the embattled leader out of office.

The Congress leader said the BJP cannot keep “subverting democracy” and “yet come out holier than thou and talk about political integrity”. He was referring to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar dumping the grand alliance in the state to come into the NDA fold, and the recent defections of Congress MLAs to BJP in Gujarat, ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.

“Where is the money coming from in Gujarat? Our MLAs said they were offered money (to defect). We are not getting any answers to this in the prime minister’s Mann ki Baat,” he said.

Khera also attacked the prime minister for not doing enough to curb the menace of cow-vigilante groups and “those spreading hate”. The Congress leader said prime minister’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ appears to be “disconnected” from ground realities as it has failed to address issues like unemployment and agrarian crisis.

In his radio programme on Sunday, Modi spoke on varied topics ranging from how the new tax reform goods and services tax (GST) has transformed the economy to extensive relief being provided to the flood-hit states.

“The prime minister’s speech was irrelevant as it did not touch the fundamental issues faced by the country. We did not get answers to several of our questions and it was completely disconnected with what people are thinking,” Khera said.

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