Mumbai: BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani on Friday demanded that the Government should make efforts to bring back the black money deposited by Indians in foreign banks and also raise the issue at an upcoming G-20 meet.
Advani, who was unveiling a report of a four-member task force of the party formed to look into the issue of Indian black money in foreign banks, said it was more dangerous than the black money circulated inside the country.
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He also demanded that the government should raise the issue of black money in the G-20 meet scheduled on 25 April.
The four-member task force appointed by the BJP leadership to look into the issue comprises chartered accountant S Gurumurthy, Prof Vaidyanathan of IIM Bangalore, security expert Ajit Doval and lawyer and BJP Lok Sabha nominee Mahesh Jethmalani.
Advani said the figures given by his party were not absurd. “The government has not denied the existence of black money. The figures are not absurd as the government says. The dimension of the loot can be denied but the fact of the loot cannot be denied”.
Quoting the report, he said money to the tune of Rs6.88 lakh crore from India and other developing countries was deposited in tax havens abroad in the last five years.
“India should stop being a silent spectator to secret banking and tax havens. This (black money) is a matter in which Western countries have become active in the last few years,” Advani said, adding “I set up the task force as the issue is linked with our security”.
He said the task force report would be sent to political parties and US President Barack Obama besides to France and Germany, the two countries vigorously pursuing the issue.
Quoting international expert on slush funds Raymond Baker, Advani dwelt on the link between terror and national security.
“My party has been highlighting how this issue has been handled by the UPA government,” Advani said.
“I felt unhappy when my raising the black money issue was mocked at. I have not picked the figures from Wikipedia but they are based on something substantial. Even the Swiss ambassador has said that a lot of money from India is coming to Swiss banks,” the BJP leader said.
He said, if voted to power, the NDA government would initiate vigorous action to bring back black money in secret Swiss accounts and other tax havens through a 100-day programme.
Advani said the task force report would also be sent to G-20 countries.
He also asked voters to “punish Congress which has no political will to fight corruption and crime money.”
Farooq Abdullah files nomination for Srinagar seat
Srinagar: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Friday filed his nomination papers for prestigious Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency, setting the stage for a clash with sister and president of Awami National Conference Begum Khalida Shah.
Abdullah, accompanied by son and Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, union water resources minister and JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz and senior Congress leader and minister for Public Health Engineering Taj Mohiuddin, filed his papers with the returning officer for the constituency at Tankipora, near here.
Abdullah had earlier said that being the NC chief, he was reluctant to contest the polls even though the party wanted him to fight the elections.
Notification issued for last phase of LS polls
New Delhi: Electoral process for the fifth and last phase of Lok Sabha polls covering 86 constituencies spread over nine States and Union Territories began with President Pratibha Patil issuing a notification on Friday.
In the final phase, elections would be held on 13 May for 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, 14 in Uttar Pradesh, 11 in West Bengal, nine in Punjab, five in Uttarakhand, four seats in Himachal Pradesh, two in Jammu and Kashmir, one each in Chandigarh and Puducherry.
The filing of nominations, commencing on Friday with the issuance of notification, would end on 24 April.
The final phase will decide the electoral fortunes of several union ministers including P Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. All the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry will have a single phase polling on 13 May.
Other prominent contestants figuring in the last phase include Varun Gandhi (Pilibhit), his mother Maneka Gandhi (Aonla), cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin (Moradabad) and Jayaprada (Rampur) - all in Uttar Pradesh.
The counting of votes would take place on 16 May.
Third Front will re-think on N-deal if voted to power: Yechury
Nashik: CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said that the Third Front will “re-think” on the Indo-US nuclear deal if voted to power.
“Indo-US nuclear deal signed by the Congress-led UPA government will put pressure on India and if Third Front is voted to power, it will re-think on the deal,” Yechury told reporters here on Thursday.
“We will provide a stable government at the Centre if a non-Congress secular government is voted to power,” the politburo member said while addressing an election meeting for party candidate from Dindori (ST) seat and sitting MLA Jiva Pandu Gavit.
The Third Front is getting good response and the 1996 and 1998 (non-Congress secular government formed at the Centre) will be repeated in the 15th Lok Sabha polls, the Marxist leader said.
On the Prime Ministerial issue, he said that it was not proper to discuss who the next PM would be while the elections are on and asserted that the issue would be solved amicably amongst the allies after the polls.
Indo-Bhutan border to be sealed for LS polls
Jalpaiguri: The Indo-Bhutan border will be sealed to stop entry of outsiders during the Lok Sabha elections in north Bengal.
District magistrate Vandana Yadav told reporters on Thursday that for the sake of conducting free and fair elections, the border will be sealed from 28 April – 1 May.
The decision was taken at a high level meeting between senior officials of the two neighbouring countries presided by divisional commissioner, Jalpaiguri, N. Sunderan.
Lok Sabha elections will be held in north Bengal on 30 April, the first phase of the three-phase polling in West Bengal.