Bhopal: Congress on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "cheating" people on the black money issue, and said though he had made tall claims on repatriating the ill-gotten money in the run-up to elections the NDA government is doing a flip-flop after assuming power.
"Why Modi has cheated people on the issue of black money? The government has no idea about the amount of money stashed in foreign banks.
"But in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls, while a yoga guru claimed that Rs 400 lakh crore were deposited outside the country, Modi talked about Rs 70 lakh crore," Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said when asked about Modi raising the issue of black money in Brisbane, Australia.
"They should explain from where they have got these figures," he said.
Modi, who is attending G-20 Summit in Australia, today said that repatriation of black money kept abroad is a "priority" for his government, as he sought close global coordination to achieve this objective.
The prime minister raised the black money issue at an informal meeting of leaders of the five-nation BRICS bloc.
"Modi said that he would ensure that every citizen get Rs 3 lakh when black money is brought back to the country, but now the government told the Supreme Court that it has no idea about the figure and took the (same) stand that the Congress -led UPA government had taken in the apex court.
"I am also a member of the Finance Committee and the Secretary of Revenue had informed me that three committees that were constituted earlier have submitted their report on the issue," Singh, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said.
"They (government) said they will examine the report which will take six months for evaluating the exact figure that was stashed in foreign banks. Besides, government will also have to define (what constitutes) black money as only that money which had been earned through criminal means falls under the definition of black money," he said.
Apart from that it (government) has to sign agreements with the countries where it (black money) is deposited, Singh said.
"Now Modi has realised it and took the same position as the UPA government had taken in the apex court on the issue," Singh said, adding "at that time present Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had strongly denounced us on the issue."
"They (BJP) have cheated people on the issue and Congress will make people aware that they had been fooled," he said.
Asked about senior Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh quitting the party on the issue of distribution of tickets for upcoming local body elections, Singh parried the question, saying "awarding party tickets is not an easy job. I have directed those who approached me on the issue towards the state unit Congress president Arun Yadav."
Senior Congress leaders, including MLA Govind Singh, former MP Prem Chand Guddu and state unit vice-president Manak Agrawal, had resigned from their posts in protest against the alleged bias in distribution of party tickets for the local body polls.