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Congress president Rahul Gandhi hits out at PM Modi over PNB scam

The political slugfest over jeweller Nirav Modi continued on Monday with Congress president Rahul Gandhi hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Taking to Twitter, Mr Gandhi said, “First it was Lalit, then Mallya, and now Nirav too has given the slip. Where is the guardsman who said ‘Na khaunga, na khane dunga’. The people are longing to know the reason behind Saheb’s silence. His sealed lips are shouting out where his loyalties lie.”  He also used the hashtag #ModiRobsIndia.

Mr Gandhi has been asking the Prime Minister and the finance minister to speak about the fraud in the Punjab National Bank to the tune of over Rs 11,000 crore. The fraud involves jeweller Nirav Modi’s companies and certain other accounts with the bank’s flagship branch (Brady House Branch) in Mumbai and its second largest lending window in India.

The Congress had released a video of the Gold Monetisation Scheme of 2015 of the Prime Minister mentioning Mehul Choksi one of the accused in the PNB scam.

While Congress spokesman Manish Tewari on Monday asked the government as to why Mehul Choksi was allowed to leave the country. Mr Tewari said, “Gitanjali Jewellery managing chairperson Mehul Choksi was declared an absconder on August 4, 2017 by a court of law. Then how was he allowed to leave the country?”

Congress had also alleged that the agencies of the government, including the PMO, were aware of the ongoing fraud.

It had also released documents that Prime Minister’s Office, Enforcement Directorate, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), SEBI as well as two BJP-ruled governments in Maharashtra and Gujarat were aware of the scam pursuant to a series of complaints filed as early as on 7 May, 2015. The party also plans to raise the PNB scam in the second part of the Budget session in March.

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