Black money: Opposition corners government in Lok Sabha

New Delhi : The government Thursday faced flak in the Lok Sabha for yet another day on the black money issue, with the opposition parties asking it to give a timeline by which the money stashed abroad would be brought back to India.

The central government on its part said no such promise had been made in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto and it was former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who had in fact promised to bring back black money within 100 days.

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Participating in the debate which spilled over from Wednesday, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said: “People of the country trusted you. During election campaign, you had promised and people elected you based on that promise. After you formed the government, nothing has happened on this.”

He said the erstwhile Congress-led central government had made an agreement with Switzerland on the black money issue and from that time, much of the money has been withdrawn from foreign banks.

“Has this government tried to find out where the money has gone,” he asked.

“When will the entire money be brought back and the people punished. The government should give a timeline,” Yadav said, adding that nothing concrete has been done till now.

He asserted that the people were waiting for Rs.15 lakh promised into their bank accounts once the money comes back. “Why did you promise?”

“Both the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) know who all have the black money,” he added.

Intervening in the debate, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “The promise of getting the money back in 100 days came from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he had replied in the house during his tenure.”

Unfortunately the “people did not believe that government (UPA) but they believed this party (BJP)”.

He asserted that the central government has every intention of getting the money back and the finance minister was talking to different countries on the issue.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself taken up the issue in a big manner,” he said.

Naidu said names would be made public when the probe is completed and the guilty will be charge sheeted.

“The government has just come. They are doing good work,” he said, adding: “The expectations are very high. I agree because they think that Modi can deliver. Everything will happen and quickly happen.”

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge contended even though the issue was not mentioned in the BJP manifesto, it was raised several times during election campaign by senior BJP leaders, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammed Salim said: “This is a very grave issue. SIT (special investigation team) is just the beginning. Both the UPA and NDA are saying same thing. It is equally corrupt to promise wrong things.”