The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday launched a scathing attack at the Congress and accused the party of shielding former finance minister P Chidambaram after IT department filed an FIR against the leader in the alleged disproportionate assets case.
The Congress leader also reminded the ruling BJP of its failure to bring back black money from overseas and deposit Rs 15 lakh in every Indian's bank account, as promised by it before the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday while addressing media said that the Congress party's president Rahul Gandhi who himself is out on bail on a financial matter, should certainly comment and tell people of India if he is going to investigate on this senior leader of the party P Chidambaram not having disclosed income held overseas. "The returns of income are a complete answer to the baseless allegation", he said, quoting the statement of Chidambaram's chartered accountant.
"The parallels can not be missed out in this case".
"I am starting by wondering if for the Congress party, in India, we are seeing a Nawaz Sharif moment, wherein a former minister, a senior one at that, who held very important portfolios such as Finance and Home is being investigated upon for not disclosing his foreing assets, partly or fully, held probably in one country or more than one country".
She referred to Nawaz Sharif, who was debarred from holding public office by Pakistan's Supreme Court due to non-disclosure of assets and income earned overseas.
Referring to Amit Shah, Chidambaram on Twitter taunted that BJP should bring the black money back.
BJP national president Amit Shah had also upped the attack on former finance minister saying IT had estimated illegal assets of Chidambaram to be worth 3 billion dollars. Targeting Shah, he said in a subsequent tweet, "The president of the richest political party in India is dreaming of billions of dollars! Let Rahul Gandhi come out and tell why his party leader did not make these disclosures", she said. "Welcome to the bar, Ms Sitaraman". She pointed out that the Pakistan court had disqualified Sharif from holding office because of not disclosing assets held in foreign countries. She had added that the law on black money was brought in by the Modi government because it had pledged before the last Lok Sabha elections to fight unaccounted for money held in India and overseas. How could they indict their own selves? The family members have been summoned by the department for questioning on June 11, 2018.
"In pursuit of black money, time was given to disclose the assets and bring them to public notice". Income Tax department is yet another caged bird. Previous week, Madras High Court rejected the petition of the Chidambaram's family members, directing Income Tax to proceed under Black Money Act, which envisages 120 percent fine and 10 years of imprisonment.
The case was filed in a Chennai court under the sections of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.