PNB scam: In Parliament, Arun Jaitley may speak on banking fraud today
The opposition has attempted to corner the government on the PNB scam and has demanded any debate in Parliament must happen only if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is present.
New Delhi: Following two days of massive uproar in Parliment over the PNB scam, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may reportedly address the issue on the floor of the House on Wednesday. With the government and opposition sparring - both inside as well as outside Parliament, the political climate has heated up since the Rs 12,700 crore scam came to light.
While Jaitley possibly addressing the matter at hand may calm some frayed nerves, the opposition has demanded the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament when the scam is being debated upon. Led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the opposition has questioned PM Modi's 'silence' on the matter. Several Congress lawmakers even protested outside Parliament on Tuesday - accusing the government of looking the other way. BJP has attempted to counter the charges with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad blaming Congress' two terms in power 'which had placed landmines all around.'
The PNB scam has indeed exploded like a metaphorical landmine - shaking the economic and political establishment in the country. The biggest fraud ever detected by an Indian bank, PNB said last month that it had discovered fraudulent transactions worth $1.77 billion at one of its Mumbai branch. Billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, 46, was booked by the CBI for 'cheating' after PNB sent a complaint to it alleging that the jewellery firm owner, his brother, wife and Mehul Choksi entered into a criminal conspiracy with the officials of the bank and cheated it, causing a "wrongful loss".
While certain reports suggested that Nirav Modi had already left the country in the first week of January, his precise location remains unknown till date. Meanwhile, the political slugfest and blame-game continues unabated.