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Counter offensive by Govt, Cong on blackmoney issue

PTI 23 Sep 2012, 13:06:32 IST
New Delhi, Aug 14: Government and the Congress today lampooned the NDA asking what steps it had taken to bring back blackmoney stashed abroad when it was in power and rejected charges of yoga guru Ramdev and Anna Hazare that the present ruling dispensation has failed to take any action on it.  

Berated on the issue by Team Anna and then by Ramdev, who got the support of BJP, JD(U) and other NDA partners, Government went on a counter offensive, dismissing the charges of inaction.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said Government has taken a series of steps to unearth blackmoney.  This included signing of bilateral agreements with several foreign countries with the purpose of bringing tax evasion to light.

This issue was raised in Parliament many times and during his tenure as Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee had even issued a white paper on the matter, she told reporters on being asked about Ramdev attacking the Government during his protest against blackmoney.

Attacking the opposition, Congress said, “The reasons for the agitations are not ostensibly what have been put forth and what has emerged clearly yesterday is that the mask has come off and eventually those people who have been using cats paws to fight their political battle” stood exposed.  

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari took a dig at NDA leaders including Nitin Gadkari and Sharad Yadav who had participated in the agitation launched by Ramdev.  

“They should understand political battles are not fought like this. You have to stand on your own feet. You have to strong enough to fight your own battle and we will reply to each and every charge you made,” he told reporters here.  He said “we would also like to tell the country that what action they (NDA leaders) have taken when they were in the power to unearth black money.”

“No government has done so much like this government has done to unearth black money. It has taken many steps including dual tax avoidance treaty, tax information agreement signed with other countries to unearth black money,” he said.  

“It is not fair to say government has not done anything.  In fact what the UPA government has done in the last three years to unearth black money no government has done it so far,” Tewari said.

On Ramdev breaking his fast, he said “everyone has right to agitation in democracy. But then question arises what are the issues involved in it. Here there is a big difference between the issues involved and the motive behind the agitation.”