Cong continues to attack Jaitley on Lalit-Dushyant transaction remarks

Cong continues to attack Jaitley on Lalit-Dushyant transaction remarks

Even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified that his statement over the transaction of Rs 11.63 crore between Indian Premier League (IPL) ex-chief Lalit Modi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh was misinterpreted, the Congress on Tuesday refused to let it go.

“His statement of clarification does not wash. He did say what was published in all the newspapers. It is a realisation that has come late after the damage has been done,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters.

The finance minister, who reportedly told mediapersons in the US on Sunday, on the sidelines of a public event at Stanford University, that the transaction was a commercial one, has clarified that he “never used” such a word, and that his remarks were “misinterpreted”. 

Jaitley’s clarification came a day after the Congress attacked him over the remarks, accusing him of covering up the “murky” investment by Lalit Modi in a company floated by Dushyant.

At a press conferring on Tuesday, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also accused the finance minister of giving a “clean chit” to Lalit and Dushyant, and a “direction” to the Enforcement Department (ED), which recently told the Delhi High Court that it had initiated a probe into the matter and would take it to a “logical conclusion”.

Sharma suggested that Jaitley, who is on an official tour to the US, should have been “more careful, restrained and balanced” while making a statement on the issue. He added that it would “adversely” affect the probe being conducted by the ED, which comes under the Finance Ministry.

The Congress leader also criticised the Narendra Modi government over Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s remark on the issue, saying there was competition among ministers to give clean chit to each other.

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