South Asian Insider
BJP govt waived loans worth Rs 6.66 lakh crore, helped defaulters: Congress
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he had asked a question in Parliament seeking the names of the country’s top 50 bank loan defaulters but the finance minister didn’t give an answer. (News Agencies) New Delhi : The Congress on Tuesday alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had waived off Rs 68,607 crore due from the top 50 bank loan defaulters, including Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya. Citing what it said was an RTI reply from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the opposition party also alleged the NDA government also waived off loans worth Rs 6.66 lakh crore between coming to power in 2014 and last September, and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to come clean on the matter. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he had asked a question in Parliament seeking the names of the country’s top 50 bank loan defaulters but the finance minister didn’t give an answer. “I asked a straight question in Parliament – state the names of the 50 top bank loan defaulters in the country. The finance minister refused to answer the question. Now, the RBI has given the names of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and many of BJP’s ‘friends’ in the list of bank frauds. That is why this truth was held back from Parliament,” he tweeted in Hindi. Mallya recently lost his UK high court appeal against an order for his extradition to India. India has also sought the extradition of Choksi, one of the accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, from Antigua and Barbuda. Modi is fighting his extradition to India from the UK over charges of fraud and money laundering. On March 16, Gandhi had asked the question about wilful bank loan defaulters during the Lok Sabha’s budget session. But he wasn’t allowed a supplementary question, triggering protests by Congress members in the House. andhi later said his right as a Member of Parliament to ask a supplementary question in the Lok Sabha was taken away as Speaker Om Birla didn’t allow him to do so. The Congress leader said he was hurt by the action as it was the Speaker’s duty to protect his right to speak and ask supplementary questions. “This is completely unfair,” he had said. However, union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur took a swipe at Gandhi, saying the former Congress chief considers himself a “privileged” MP and wants to be treated differently than other Lok Sabha members. “Some people consider themselves privileged. They want to be treated differently than other MPs. They want to ask questions even after the Question Hour is over...The answers to his questions were provided in writing to him but still Gandhi and other Congress members made noise,” Thakur countered.
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