NEW DELHI: Hitting out at both BJP and Congress, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday accused the duo of playing a blame game on the multi-million Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. The Chief Minister took to Twitter and said that the scam which had started in 2011, is still going on.
Kejriwal said that during the era of the previous UPA government, the Congress used to earn from these scams, while now, the BJP government is benefiting from these frauds.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre, he added that this is the reason why the ruling party never sends a Congress member to the jail.
"BJP is putting the blame on Congress and Congress on BJP. But the truth is that all scams during Congress' time are still going on. Earlier, Congress used to make money, now from all those scams BJP makes money. This is the reason why BJP has till today not sent any Congress member to jail," tweeted Kejriwal.
PNB scam 2011 में चालू हुआ, आज तक चल रहा है। भाजपा cong पर आरोप लगा रही है और cong भाजपा पर
सच ये है कि cong के समय के सारे घोटाले आज भी चल रहे हैं। पहले cong कमाती थी, अब उन्ही घोटालों से भाजपा कमाती है। इसीलिए आज तक भाजपा ने किसी भी घोटाले में एक भी cong वाले को जेल नहीं भेजा
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 17, 2018
Following a press conference held by Congress today, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the UPA government of misleading people and covering up the PNB fraud by accusing the BJP.
"The original sin in this particular episode of Nirav Modi was committed in 2011," said Sitharaman in a press conference.
Alleging that top Congress leaders are involved in this scam, Sitharaman said, "Fire Star Diamond International Pvt Ltd. is one of the companies of Nirav Modi. They have acquired it from Advait Holdings and one of the shareholders of it is Anita Singhvi since 2002."
Anita Singhvi is the wife of Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.
"Gitanjali Gems was suspended for 6 months from doing business on NSE in 2013. On September 13, 2013, Rahul Gandhi attended a promotional event for this jewellery group," said the Defence Minister.
The entire focus of the Centre has been on getting hold of the main Nirav Modi in the PNB fraud case, said the BJP minister. “It is the Modi government which has tried to get to the bottom of the situation. Several other actions being taken by govt."
"The Narendra Modi govt comes with a clear commitment to take actions against the corrupt practices," said the Defence Minister, adding, "Congress misleading people. It's part of their strategy. UPA tried to cover up the scam."
The blame game between the leading political parties has been going on since the news of PNB fraud went public. While the Congress has been accusing the BJP of letting billionaire Nirav Modi leave the country, the BJP has hit back saying the PNB scam took place in the previous UPA government regime.
Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal attacked PM Modi on his refusal to accept BJP's role in the Nirav Modi-PNB scam.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Gokulnath Shetty, the then deputy Manager (now Retd) of the Punjab National Bank in connection with the Rs 11,400 crore fraud conducted at the Mumbai branch of the national bank. Along with Shetty, Manoj Kharat, the single window operator (SWO) and Hemant Bhat, the Authorised Signatory of the Nirav Modi Group of Firms, have also been arrested.
The three will be produced before the CBI special court in Mumbai later on Saturday. It had emerged that the fraudulently issued Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) from the Mumbai branch of PNB were issued in favour of Hong Kong branches of Allahabad Bank and Axis Bank. These letters helped facilitate Rs 280.7 crore fraud by jewellery designer Nirav Modi among others.
As per the FIR lodged with the CBI, Shetty and Kharat had transmitted SWIFT instructions to the above-mentioned banks for raising buyers credit and for funding the Nostro accounts of PNB, without due procedure. The LoUs were issued on behalf of Diamond R US, Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds.