Pranab a "disgrace"; not fit to become President: Jethmalani

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Hyderabad, Jun 29: In spite of the fact that there is a considerable consensus on former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the Presidential poll, there seem to be others who do not think the same way. Noted Supreme Court lawyer and BJP MP Ram Jethmalani is of the opinion that Pranab was not qualified to contest for the top job.

Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad where Jethmalani was arguing in the Andhra pradesh High Court on behalf of his client, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is behind bars in the disproportionate assets case.

Raining further allegations against Pranab, Jethmalani said that there is a long list that disqualifies him from occupying the President post of India. He mentioned the same in an open letter to Pranab that was also shared with the media. Among the allegations levelled include 'supporting the Emergency, not assisting the Shah Commission, favoring corporate groups, disinterest in seriously perusing the case of Hasan Ali, doing nothing to get the names of 'fiscal dacoits' from Swiss banks, refusing to disclose the government's correspondence with foreign banks and illegal incarceration of Gayatri Devi and Rajamata Vijaya Raje of Gwalior'.

Rooting for Sangma for the Presidential poll, Jethmalani clarified that he was not in Hyderabad to campaign for the former NCP leader. Jethmalani accused that Pranab's tenure earlier as commerce and finance minister was marked by doling out favours to a particular corporate group.

Bring up the black money issue, Jethmalani accused Pranab of not taking the necessary steps even when the Swiss government was ready to share information on the same. He stated, "The stolen amount stashed away abroad is estimated to be about US $1500 billion, an amount which will eliminate Indian poverty overnight."

Jethmalani also lambasted UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for failing to clarify on the IT returns of certain people. Personally accusing her, he said, "She has been spending money on travels abroad for purposes unknown and occasionally making the excuse of medical treatment for ailment and hospitals undisclosed."

Giving the final blow, Jethmalani concluded by saying, "Your occupying the august office will be a disgrace to the republic of India." Referring to names like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Swami Vivekananda, Chittaranjan Das and Sri Aurobindo, who were stalwarts from Bengal, Jethmalani commented, "You (Pranab) are a disgrace to each of these great men."

OneIndia News

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