In a scathing attack on the Congress party’s first family, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said if a forensic audit of their “capital creation” is conducted, the facts will speak for themselves.
Referring to a report on a web portal on “unjust enrichment of the extended Gandhi family”, Jaitley said while conventionally many may have relied on straightway corruption through bribery, a new methodology has now been established.
“Wheeler-dealers and fly-by-night operators give you the privilege of ‘sweetheart deals’. With very little investment, windfall profits are thrust on a few privileged ones to enable them to create a capital.
” ‘Political equity’ results in buying goodwill. It enables you to influence decisions,” said Jaitley who heads the BJP’s publicity committee for the ensuing general elections.
Without elaborating, Jaitley in his blog said, “When exposed”, the beneficiaries hide behind the shield of ‘clever business decisions’.
“If the ‘capital creation’ of the Congress Party’s first family is subjected to a forensic audit, facts will speak for themselves. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones,” the senior BJP leader wrote.
He made these remarks in a blog titled ‘Is Prime Minister Modi’s First Five-Year Tenure a Turning Point on Corruption?’. This was his third blog in the series ‘Agenda 2019’.
Endorsing Jaitley’s blog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said, “No place for middlemen. No tolerance for corruption. No fake beneficiaries swindling away recourses. This is a New India. We have worked hard to remove corruption and punish the corrupt.”
Earlier in the day, the BJP dragged Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into alleged corruption involving land deals, claiming the opposition party known for “institutionalising” graft, has now come to define “family corruption”.
Citing a media report, Union minister Smriti Irani told reporters that Robert Vadra is “merely a mask” in the controversial land deals and his brother-in-law Rahul Gandhi is the “real face”.
Dismissing the allegations, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Facing imminent defeat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his favourites are resorting to levelling completely baseless and fake allegations”.
At a press conference, Irani said, “The country has come to know that the brother-in-law (Rahul) is also involved with his ‘jija’ (Robert Vadra) in this family package of corruption”.
Referring to the online report, Irani claimed that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra purchased land in a deal involving H L Pahwa, who was raided by the Enforcement Directorate, and Mahesh Kumar Nagar, who also had a role in land transaction involving Robert Vadra.
The five-year term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley said, will be regarded by future political historians as a turning point where a movement to free India from corruption began.
He said that during the Congress-led UPA regime India was considered, by both domestic and international investors, as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
“The government (led by Modi) and its ministers have conclusively proved that it is possible to run an honest government in India. Not a single charge of any substance has been made against the government,” Jaitley said.
He further said India has understood that corruption follows the law of Newton’s gravitational pull.
“It travels from top to bottom and not the other way round. If the leader at the top is honest and has the capacity to ensure similar ethical standards from his colleagues, the moral authority of the Government to ensure integrity travels through the system,” he said.
The message today to those who operated improperly in the system are getting to realise that it is safer to be clean, he said while adding that is the difference between Modi’s NDA government and its predecessor UPA.
Also in sharp contrast to the Commonwealth Games held here in 2010, which were marred by allegation of corruptions, the just concluded Kumbh in Prayagraj is an “excellent illustration” of how public funds can be effectively and honestly used, Jaitley remarked. PTI