Cong wants 'think-tank' associated ministers sacked

Cong wants 'think-tank' associated ministers sacked

The Congress on Saturday demanded dismissal of four Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu, Jayant Sinha and M J Akbar alleging conflict of interest as they also hold the post of directors in India Foundation, a think-tank run by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's son Shaurya.

Addressing a press conference here, former law minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi order a CBI inquiry against the ministers for reportedly holding office of profit and also violating Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act.

Sibal cited the example of Congress President Sonia Gandhi who had quit her Lok Sabha seat after the BJP had accused her of holding an office of profit by virtue of being the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council.

The ministers should resign as members of either Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha and fight elections again, Sibal said asking the prime minister to dismiss them forthwith.

The Congress' attack came after news portal The Wire published an article on the issue.

"Just imagine the hue and cry they (BJP) would have raised had a minister from the UPA government been a director of an NGO run by Teesta Setalvad or Indira Jaising," Sibal asked.
Sibal said that BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and A. Surya Prakash, the former chairman of the Prasar Bharti board, are also directors of India Foundation and an investigation should be initiated against them as well.

The Congress leader said Shaurya Doval also runs an investment consultancy along with a Saudi prince. Sibal also alleged the multinational companies sponsored events organised by India Foundation that has the defence minister, civil aviation minister and commerce minister as directors.

"This cocktail of interests has never been seen before in the country. This mix of ministers along with business along with public interest," Sibal said.

"There can be no bigger case of crony capitalism, violation of law and corruption than this," said Sibal.

"How can there be public interest when government and business are on the same platform and they are talking to each other for the benefit of business?" he asked.

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