New Delhi: The BJP on Monday sought to corner former finance minister P. Chidambaram, alleging that he granted seven private firms, including scam-accused Gitanjali Gems, gold import benefits on the day of counting of 2014 Lok Sabha poll votes and asked the Congress how much “cut” was given to whom for the decision.
Targeting the Congress and Mr Chidambaram, senior BJP leader and Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the then Congress-led UPA government “destroyed” the economy by not letting the real stressed assets get reflected in banks’ books and said total advances given by banks in the last six years of its rule rose to Rs 52.15 lakh crore from Rs 18.06 lakh crore in 2008.
The Union minister said only 36 per cent of these advances were identified as stressed assets but they rose to 82 per cent and alleged that under the then “so-called economist” prime minister Manmohan Singh and “super-economist” FM, Mr Chidambaram, the banking system was “sought to be derailed by interventions, patronage and pressure”.
Alleging that the then finance minister gave seven private firms benefits under 80:20 gold import scheme on May 16, 2014, the day Narendra Modi-led BJP was swept to power, ousting the UPA.
The Union minister added that it was the “height of shamelessness” to take such a decision on May 16.
“Mr Chidambaram please reply, is it jumla or blatant favouritism, mala fide conduct and rampant corruption? The Congress party should answer who were these people lobbying for Gitanjali and what was the cut,” he asked....