Saturday, November 26, 2022

BJP steps up attack on Kejriwal for defending AAP minister

Intensifying its attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his defence of Satyendar Jain, the BJP on Wednesday cited a host of details linked to the money laundering case allegedly involving the city health minister and asked why he has been “protecting” him.
Union Minister Smriti Irani noted that Kejriwal had said on Tuesday that corruption was tantamount to “gaddari” (betrayal) with the country. She asked why the AAP national convener was giving protection to a “gaddar” (traitor) who allegedly deceived the treasury and the people.
Irani fired off a number of questions at Kejriwal, who has slammed the Enforcement Directorate case of money laundering against Jain as forged and politically motivated as she shared details of allegations against the latter to ask the chief minister if they were true or not.
Mocking Kejriwal, she said the chief minister has given a clean chit to a “corrupt man” by assuming the role of a judge.
Naming four shell companies allegedly owned by Jain and his family members, Irani asked Kejriwal if it was true that Jain laundered over Rs 16.39 crore with the help of hawala operators.
The Income Tax department had rejected Jain’s contention that it was his associates’ money, and held that the “ill-gotten” money belonged to him, Irani said.
A division bench of the Delhi High Court in 2019 agreed with the IT department’s findings, she noted, asking Kejriwal why he hadn’t acted against Jain since then. “He (Jain) is under his direct protection,” she said.
Hitting back at Kejriwal over his charge that the case against Jain was politically motivated, Irani asked him if he believed that the court was a political party.
Under the Income Disclosure Scheme of 2016, she claimed, Jain had himself admitted that Rs 16.39 crore was laundered and his firm had offered to pay tax on it. She asked the AAP supremo if such a person should continue to be a minister in his government.
Jain, who holds various portfolios, including health, home and power, in the Kejriwal government, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case of money laundering on Monday.
Seeking to put Kejriwal in the dock, the Union minister cited the allegation that the shell firms owned by Jain bought 200 bighas of land in the vicinity of some unauthorised colonies in Delhi with the laundered money, and asked the chief minister to explain if the charge was true or not.
She also asked if the Delhi government’s move to regularise these colonies was linked to Jain’s investment.
The money was laundered during 2010-16, Irani said, trashing Jain’s claim that it was his architecture consultancy firm’s consultancy fee. No structure has come upon the land for which the purported consultation was offered, she added.
The Union minister also referred to a CBI charge sheet against Jain in a disproportionate assets case.

SourcePTI
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