Bhubaneswar, Jan 18 (ANI): Barely 48 hours after senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani took on the Manmohan Singh-led Central Government over illegal money in foreign banks, BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday renewed the demand, and asked the Centre to make public the names of Indians who have stashed unaccounted money in Swiss banks.
"I demand from the Central Government the names of those who have cheated and betrayed the country and amassed this black money. This money belongs to people of India, which has been kept in the Swiss bank. The Central Government has got the names of such people and the government should immediately reveal the names," said Gadkari.
"If they are trying to hide it, it means that they are hesitant to release the names because after the names are revealed, their face will be blackened," he added claiming that the overnment was holding back information to save its face.
Gadkari also criticized Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for failing to control the spiralling prices of essential commodities.
"Our economist Prime Minister has failed to handle our economic policies. The wrong economic policies and bad governance of the Congress Party is basically a problem for our unemployment, poverty and price rise," said Gadkari.
Earlier on Sunday, Advani welcomed the Supreme Court's move to make public the details of black money stashed away abroad by Indians.
Speaking at the Mahasangram rally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) against corruption and price rise in Mumbai, Advani said: "The Supreme Court pulled up Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam and asked him why the government could not divulge the details of those who had kept black money abroad.
Advani said that he would appeal to the court to take the steps on this front to a logical conclusion.
"The Indian Government must ensure that all the money abroad was brought back and it must punish the people involved and make special laws, if necessary on this issue," he added.
The BJP veteran called on the Congress, which had belittled him when he raised key questions on black money and said it must reply to NDA's letter on this issue and called the party to account.
"In 2009 I said black money by those who have earned it through nefarious means, is kept in countries like Switzerland, where banking norms allow having secret accounts and no one will even ask you. Banking secrecy laws are there in many countries. Now there is a chance, the U.S., Germany felt that their money should return to their countries during the time of the economic slowdown," said Advani.
"The United Nations passed a Convention on corruption and now laws are being drafted for the repatriation of money," he pointed out. "When NDA raised the issue, the Congress reacted by saying no country will change laws for us, how will they give us back the money and they made fun of me," he added.
Advani further said before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had created a task force, and Vaidyanathan who was a member, gave examples of how much money was stashed in foreign banks.
"Global Financial Integrity, an international group published a small booklet and estimated that Indian money abroad at Rs. 20.85 lakh crore," he added. (ANI)