JD-U goes after Indian holders of Swiss accounts


New Delhi : The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Friday joined the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in demanding that the government should ask the Swiss authorities to divulge the names of Indians who have stashed away ill-gotten money in secret bank accounts there.

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JD-U president Sharad Yadav told reporters here: “India tops the list of countries whose citizens have deposited monies in Swiss banks and we must ask the government there to reveal the names.”

CPI-M leader Prakash Karat made the demand last week during the release of his party manifesto.

Without disclosing his source, Yadav said Swiss banks had “$1,456 billion belonging to Indians, followed by $470 billion belonging to Russians, $390 billion of Britons, $100 billion of Ukraine, and $96 billion of China.” About his source, he said: “The source is reliable. This information is also available on the internet.”

Yadav, also convenor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance, said: “We demand that India should do everything possible to get the money back.”

“It is unfortunate that our government has not asked the Swiss authorities to reveal the names, while the US has already done so. This inaction raises suspicion that the government is not interested in getting the money back,” he said.

Yadav said with this money the country could increase its foreign exchange reserves “as well as eliminate poverty from the country and repay all debts”.