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PMO in dock over PNB scam? After Rahul’s jibe, CPI questions PM Modi’s silence

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    New Delhi, Feb 19: After the Congress, the Left too has trained its gun on the Narendra Modi government over the Rs 11,360-crore Punjab National Bank fraud that has badly hit the Indian banking system.

    On Sunday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, demanding Prime Minister Modi and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to speak out on the fraud involving celebrity diamond jeweller Nirav Modi.

    pnb

    The Communist Party of India (CPI) too blamed the Prime Minister's Office for diamond merchant Nirav Modi fleeing the country and hit out at the PM for keeping mum on the scam.

    The party's general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said the PM's silence on such a "big scandal is surprising". "On every issue, the PM reacts, tweets and comments. But when such a serious incident takes place, why doesn't he speak or react? He must reply," Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad.

    He claimed that in 2016, an individual named Hari Prasad had complained to the PMO about the matter and had requested Nirav Modi's arrest. "But no action was taken and Nirav Modi and his family members fled the country in January this year," he said.

    About Nirav Modi being part of an Indian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Reddy asked, "Nirav Modi met and got himself photographed with the PM. How did it happen? How could Nirav Modi enter? Who helped him?"

    "We squarely hold the PMO responsible for Nirav Modi fleeing the country. We demand that the PM respond. The CPI demands that Nirav Modi be arrested and be brought back to India immediately," he said.

    Reddy said liquor baron Vijay Mallya and cricket administrator Lalit Modi left the country under similar circumstances and that no one knew if the government was serious about bringing them back to face justice.

    He said the BJP claimed to be a party that was "above corruption" but it too faced allegations like the one against the son of the party's national president and was refusing a transparent inquiry into these allegations.

    Reddy, speaking on the controversy around the purchase of the Rafale fighter aircraft, said, "Not releasing the details of the Rafale deal in the name of official secrets gives rise to doubts. Like Bofors, the nation has a right to know and discuss the deal."

    Earlier, releasing the draft of the political resolution of the party to be presented at its meet at Kollam in Kerala in April, Reddy said there was a need to mobilise secular, political and mass organisations to counter the "fascistic offensive" of the Modi government and the RSS.

    He added that a mass resistance was the need of the hour and that the Left parties needed to project alternative economic policies to re-assert their identity.

    On the PNB scam, Rahul had tweeted, "PM Modi tells kids how to pass exams for 2 hrs, but won't speak for 2 mins on the 22,000Cr banking scam. Mr Jaitley is in hiding. Stop behaving as if you're guilty! Speak up. #ModiRobsIndia."

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