Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday hit out at the BJP over fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s removal from the Interpol database of Red Notices, saying talk of patriotism by those giving ”protection” to such people is a ”joke”.
Kharge also hit out at the BJP for its fresh onslaught on Rahul Gandhi over his democracy remarks.
”They are doing things to divert attention from real issues. Our embassies are being attacked. People who have run away with money from banks, Mehul Choksi, those giving protection to such people talk about patriotism, it is a joke,” the Congress president told reporters before leaving for Parliament.
”We will ask the government to clarify on this,” he said.
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Choksi, wanted in a Rs 13,000-crore scam in the Punjab National Bank, is understood to have been removed from the Interpol database of Red Notices on the basis of his plea to the Lyon-headquartered agency, people in the know of the development had said.
Earlier in a tweet in Hindi, Kharge said, ”ED-CBI for opposition leaders but release from Interpol for ‘our Mehul bhai’ of Modi ji. When Parliament can be stalled for ‘best friend’, then how can help for the ‘old friend ‘ be denied who absconded five years ago”.
”Thousands of crores of the country were lost and ‘Na khaane doonga’ became another ‘jumla’,” the Congress chief also said.
On the BJP’s attack on Rahul Gandhi, Kharge said the question of an apology doesn’t arise.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday charged that Gandhi is the present day Mir Jafar of Indian polity. “It would not be an aberration to say that Rahul Gandhi is a present day Mir Jafar of Indian polity. What he has done in London is the same thing that Mir Jafar did,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told a press conference Parliament has remained paralysed due to protests from rival sides.
While the BJP has demanded an ”unambiguous apology” from Gandhi for his remarks in the UK that democracy in India is ”under attack”, several opposition parties have accused the government that it does not want Parliament to function and is finding ways to divert attention from their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe (JPC) into allegations against the Adani Group.
During his interactions in the United Kingdom, the Gandhi scion alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and there is a ”full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions. He also told British parliamentarians that microphones are often ”turned off” in the Lok Sabha when an opposition member raises important issues.
Gandhi’s remarks triggered a political slugfest, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign interventions, and the Congress hitting back at the ruling party by citing instances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising internal politics abroad.