The Congress today alleged that "shocking details" emerging from Antigua have "exposed the complicity and connivance" of the Narendra Modi government in the escape of fugitive billionaire Mehul Choksi to the Caribbean country.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala was reacting to media reports quoting Antiguan authorities as saying that Indian agencies had no adverse information against Choksi when the Caribbean country conducted a background check on the PNB scam accused before granting him citizenship in 2017.
"Loot and make them scoot is the prime policy of the the Modi government. The shocking details reveal how the Modi government enacted this mega scam," he said in a statement.
Mr Surjewala questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not raise the issue when he met his Antiguan counterpart Gaston Browne in April 2018.
He also alleged that the Ministry of External Affairs issued a clean chit to Choksi when there were complaints pending against him.
"Why did the CBI/ED not move the Interpol for a warrant against Mehul Choksi or provide the requisite evidence of criminal fraud against him? Is it not correct that this deliberate failure on part of CBI/ED in providing evidence to Interpol, led to Interpol giving a clean chit to Choksi?" he asked.
The Congress leader sought to know why the Prime Minister's Office did not act or direct the External Affairs Ministry, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Serious Fraud Investigation Office etc. to take action on two complaints dated May 7 and May 26, 2015.
"Why did not Prime Minister Narendra Modi raise the issue of citizenship during his meeting with Antigua PM Gaston Browne in April, 2018?" the Congress leader asked.
Mr Surjewala alleged the agencies under the Narendra Modi government enabled the "great escape" of Choksi.
"Complicity and connivance of the Modi gvernment in the escape of Rs 23,484-cr PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi, better described by PM Narendra Modi's 'hamare Mehul bhai', has been exposed.
"Shocking details from Antigua's Citizenship By Investment Unit have lifted the cover from the sins committed by every organ of the Modi government - PMO, MEA, CBI, SEBI etc that facilitated and gave a 'clean chit' to the fraudster," he alleged.
Mr Surjewala said the development "also conclusively exposes the barrage of lies that ministers in the Narendra Modi government were trying to plant in the mainstream media".
The Congress leader said Choksi left India on January 4, 2018 and was already a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda since November 2017 "which gives him a visa-free access to travel around 132 nations".
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