Don't Blackmail Us on Black Money: Congress to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken addresses the media

New Delhi:  In tweets, a 7-point questionnaire to the government and a barrage of remarks, the Congress has expressed great umbrage at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's remark - made on NDTV - that the party will face "embarrassment" when a list of Indians accused of holding black money in foreign accounts is finally made public.

"Do not try to blackmail us. Strictest possible action should be taken against whoever is involved... but that should not be inspired by vindictiveness and it should also not be half-truths," said Congress leader Ajay Maken today, warning that his party will be looking out for "selective leakage" of foreign account holders. (Watch the interview here)

Yesterday, in an interview to NDTV, the Finance Minister said that the Congress has wrongly accused the government of stating that it will not share the names of Indians who have allegedly siphoned untaxed or black money to banks in tax havens like Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Mr Jaitley said the government has only clarified to the Supreme Court that tax treaties with other countries forbid the disclosure of names at an early stage of investigation; the names will be released soon in court, he said, at which point, they will be made public.

The Supreme Court has created a special team to draw up a blueprint for the recovery of black money.  

Congress leaders like Digvijaya Singh today taunted the government for vowing during the election campaign that black money would be brought back within 100 days of the BJP being elected. 

"FM instead of bluffing people should tell us when he is depositing 3 L (lakh) in a/c of every citizen as promised by Modi in his campaign speeches," tweeted Mr Singh.

The Congress has also said that the tax treaties that the government is citing to keep details confidential is exactly what it had explained when the Congress-led UPA was in power and under furious attack from the BJP over its alleged disinterest in punishing tax violators.  

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