NDA to ask its leaders to declare assets

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Pledging to set an example in thefight against black money, BJP-led NDA today said it woulddirect its chief ministers and seniormost leaders to declaretheir assets and asked the government to make all efforts tobring Indian slush funds stashed in tax havens.

Senior NDA leaders held a press conference to presentthe report of a task force appointed by BJP to look into theissue of Indian black money stashed abroad and ways of dealingwith the issue.

"We liked (the report) and the NDA also said it isappropriate that all those holding political office, whetherwe are members of Parliament, whether we are leaders ofpolitical parties recognised by the Election Commission....

".... or even Central office-bearers of the politicalparties, or MPs. We would like all of them to be obligated totell the government that we have no money abroad," NDA Workingchairperson L K Advani said.

The NDA leaders endorsed the suggestions of the reportwhich targets corrupt politicians as well.

"There should be a general, not specifically against anypersons, FIR against (those keeping black money abroad). Ithas been done in the case of terrorism in Punjab, in the NorthEast... in Nagaland," Advani said.

The senior leader quoted a recent survey which claimedthat the general perception among people about politicians isthat around 60 per cent of them are corrupt.

Taking a cue from Advani, Punjab Chief Minister PrakashSingh Badal said, "A big issue has come up in the country...

NDA chief ministers should first give in writing and announcetheir assets and tell the government that it can seize anyblack money they have."

Asked if he agreed with Badal and whether KarnatakaChief Minister B S Yeddyurappa should also declare his assets,Advani replied in the affirmative, saying all BJP and NDAchief ministers should do so. .

Yeddyurappa is facing allegations of corruption and nepotism in out of turn land allotment to his sons. This hadnearly cost him his job but the BJP reportedly allowed him tocontinue due to impending local bodies elections.

Advani, who has been raising this issue since 2008, ruedthat the Congress-led government had termed this a "politicalstunt" during the 2009 elections and an "irresponsiblestatement".

He said the NDA had discussed the issue of black moneyon January 6, 2011 and written a detailed letter to the PrimeMinister but "did not even get an acknowledgement, forget areply, till now".

Stating that the issues of corruption, food inflationand black money are inter-linked, Advani alleged that thegovernment has "not even moved an inch" to bring back blackmoney stashed abroad.

"Let government take at least some steps," he said,adding that though countries like Germany were ready to sharedetails of account-holders, the government was not doinganything.

He said action needs to be taken on tax evasion,corruption, bribery and kickbacks.

Advani insisted that the government should also ratifythe UN Convention against Corruption which requires only anendorsement from the Union Council of Ministers.

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