Arun Jaitley

Opposition on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signalled to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to quit in the wake of DDCA row by drawing a parallel with LK Advani in the Hawala case, a suggestion BJP rejected outright.”Today I heard Prime Minister saying that Jaitley will come out of this like L K Advani in the Jain Hawala case. I will remind Jaitley that Advani had then resigned and had not come back till he got clean chit from the Supreme Court”, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters. “So the Prime Minister seems to be telling Jaitley that he should not continue as Finance Minister till he gets cleared”, he said addressing a joint press conference with party leaders Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Striking a similar note, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said by drawing a parallel with Advani, the Prime Minister is giving a hint to Arun Jaitley that he should resign, get himself cleared and come back.”I read it as a signal to Jaitley that you also do the same thing”, he said talking separately to reporters. In a strong show of support for Jaitley, Modi today said at BJP parliamentary party meet that he will come through “with flying colours” against charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in a same way Advani did in the Hawala case.Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh also tweeted, “Modi: ‘I am sure Arun Jaitley would come out clean as Advaniji did in Hawala case’. But would Jaitley resign as Advaniji did ? No question!”The BJP was quick to dismiss such claims. “There is no parallel between charges against Advani and Jaitley. CBI had registered a case, launched a criminal investigation and Advani quit as an MP on moral grounds. There is no criminal probe against Jaitley. These are allegations levelled by opposition which are unsupported by evidence.”In fact, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office probe was carried out into these allegations when Congress was in power. It stated that there was no fraud or cheating. Due to political rivalry, Congress is ignoring its government’s inquiry. It has no moral right to level such a charge,” BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said. BJP leaders noted that the SFIO probe was launched on the complaint of party MP Kirti Azad, who has again targeted Jaitley over the issue after AAP and Congress raked it up. First Congress disrupted Parliament over a case in which its leaders are accused of “grabbing” Rs 5000 cr assets by investing only Rs 50 lakh and now they have resorted to levelling false charges against Jaitley to do it, Sharma said.The AICC briefing saw the Congress leaders utilising to the hilt Kirti Azad’s assertions in the Lok Sabha on the issue yesterday, contending that none of the Ministers of party MPs present contested his charges. “It means all of them were agreeing to what Kirti Azad was saying”, the Leader of the Opposition said adding that the BJP member had also spoken of a CBI inquiry having been ordered into the DDCA. He sought to know from the government whether if such an inquiry has been ordered as Kirti Azad had said, at what stage it is now.The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha also suggested that Jaitley’s opposition to the earlier UPA government’s plans to bring sports bodies under the RTI appeared to be linked to the DDCA affairs.He said that whether it is the Lalit Modi controversy or some other scandals, the sports bodies are there.Surjewala said that the Congress was ready to provide full cooperation to the government in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha if the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister bring a bill to bring sports bodies under RTI to address the issue of transparency. Seeking to drive home its demand for Jaitley’s resignation, Azad also noted that the Supreme Court in a judgement in January 2011 had held that office bearers of cricket associations are also public servants and all within the prevention of corruption act.

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Jaitley row: Opposition latches on to Advani parallel