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As Congress targets Modi govt over Mehul Choksi, here is a recap of how Congress had facilitated scams by Nirav Modi and Choksi

On 16th May 2014, the day election results were declared with PM Modi winning the elections, P. Chidambaram, the then finance minister, signed an order benefitting 13 companies, including those owned by Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi’s uncle.

The Congress party, which has repeatedly indulged in spreading baseless allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi’s absconding, Tuesday once again trained its guns at the Prime Minister after Interpol dropped fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi‘s name from its Red Notice list.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge hit out at PM Modi saying that the fugitives are getting respite while the ED-CBI are busy pursuing opposition leaders.

“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 added.

Continuing his veil attack, Kharge tweeted in Hindi, “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.”

Mallikarjun Kharge was not the only one. In fact, as soon as this news became public the entire entourage of Congress lawmakers and their sycophants went on Twitter to cast aspersions on PM Modi.

Congress’ Supriya Shrinate also chimed in, accusing PM Modi of protecting Mehul Choksi.

“Modi Govt ‘Red Faced’ India by failing to prevent Mehul Choksi’s removal from Interpol’s List of Red Corner Notices! ₹13,000 CR PNB Fraud now closed for “HAMARE BHAI MEHUL” ! People’s Money down the drain. ‘Line-Up’ of ED & CBI for Opp-Leaders, But ‘Lifeline’ to Mehul Choksi !” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

“Modi Sarkar ke Do Bhai—ED aur CBI—pursue Opposition leaders with great vigour in furtherance of the PM’s politics of vendetta & intimidation. But they allow Interpol to give a lifesaver to Mehul Choksi!” wrote Congress’ Jairam Ramesh.

Congress National Spokesperson Shama Mohamed went so far as to suggest that the BJP government purposefully botched the investigation to benefit Choksi.

Several Congress sycophants also quickly followed suit. Troll-cum-journalist Swati Chaturvedi took to Twitter to use similar parallels to advance the Congress agenda. “Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi & Vijay Mallya scammed Indian banks for thousands of crores & then had “assisted escapes” from India. Shameful that the Modi government claims to be tough on corruption. Prove it bring these scamsters back,” she tweeted.

Another INC loyalist Bhavika Kapoor went on to produce a so-called ‘chronology’ of events to insinuate PM Modi’s hand in deliberating Interpol to drop fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s name from its Red Notice list.

These ridiculous remarks and bizarre analogies appear to be a rehash of the unfounded claims that the Congress party, led by none other than their senior leader Rahul Gandhi, has used as one of its favourite electoral planks to attack the Prime Minister. Incidentally, soon after the news of the PNB fraud, which was perpetrated since 2011 broke, the Congress party tried to desperately link it to Narendra Modi. Congress claimed that Nirav Modi met the PM at the Davos economic summit in 2018, the year news of the massive Rs 11,000 crore financial fraud broke.

Since then, Rahul Gandhi has also peddled several lies with regard to the economic fugitive Nirav Modi and PM Modi. Rahul Gandhi has constantly blamed the Prime Minister for Nirav Modi’s absconding and has drawn strange parallels between the two.

Although we at OpIndia have several times in the past exposed Congress’ hopeless and bizarre analogies, here is a quick recap of how the party has itself facilitated the scam by the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.

Mehul Choksi’s lawyer talks about his client’s ‘loose alliance’ with the Congress

In August 2018, David Dorsett, Mehul Choksi’s lawyer stated that Choksi had a ‘loose alliance’ with the Congress which ‘inflamed’ the situation, implying the case against him is a case of a political witch hunt. In a conversation with Republic, Dorsett has claimed that there are ‘serious political elements involved’ in the case. Choksi’s lawyer also called Nirav Modi, his nephew, also an accused in the financial fraud, a ‘scapegoat’ and that the authorities are trying to pin the matter on him. He further says that a very serious political element is involved in this whole matter and the political climate in India is heated up in a very ‘serious way’, especially with the elections coming up next year. He claimed that “the politicians are in splints right now. They are trying to carry as much popular support as they can and the situation with Mr Choksi has to be seen in that context”. In this context, BJP had even cornered Congress over fielding Mehul Choksi’s lawyer as a candidate in the Karnataka Assembly elections.

Shehzad Poonawal claimed Rahul Gandhi met Nirav Modi

One must also recall that not too long ago, it was reported that the former Finance secretary Rajiv Takru, working under the erstwhile UPA government had tried to “silence” the PNB whistleblower in 2013. Incidentally, it was the same time that Shehzad Poonawalla, a rebel Congress leader who is now the BJP spokesperson, claimed that Rahul Gandhi himself had met Nirav Modi.

“Open challenge to Rahul Gandhi to deny he met Nirav Modi in September 2013 cocktail party -11th Sep if my memory serves me right! Imperial Hotel- Rahul spent a long time! Same period when loans are given to Mehul Choksi & Nirav Modi!! SPG may have records or let’s undergo a lie detector test?” Shehzad Poonawala has then said.

Besides this, it has been alleged that Finance Minister P Chidambaram himself had signed the whistleblower’s termination letter. The Rs 11,000 crores financial scam by Nirav Modi started under the Congress government itself in 2011. In fact, it was also reported that an unnamed Congress leader was involved in cash deals with Nirav Modi’s stores during the demonetisation period, raising questions over the suspicious nature of these transactions and a link between Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Nirav Modi had also emerged.

When Congress’ P Chidambaram signed an order benefitting 13 companies, including those owned by Mehul Choksi

Interestingly, on 16th May 2014, the day election results were declared with Prime Minister Modi winning the elections, P. Chidambaram, the then finance minister, had signed an order to benefit 13 companies including Mehul Choksi, who is Nirav Modi’s uncle. The 20:80 scheme that was sanctioned by Congress leader P Chidambaram allowed 13 ‘star trading houses (STH)’ and ‘premier trading houses (PTH)’, including Choksi-led Gitanjali Gems to import gold and sell about 80 per cent of their total bullion shipment in local markets. This scheme ended up encouraging gold hoarding and aided these traders in artificially inflating the retail prices. In fact, the Jewellers Association had warned about the repercussions of this decision and had blamed the Congress government for favouring crony capitalism. The warnings had fallen on deaf ears and were ignored not only by the Congress government but also by the RBI head, Raghuram Rajan.

Essentially, the scam that was levelled by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi originated with the order signed by P Chidambaram encouraging crony capitalism, defended by friendly media. From the 20:80 Gold Scheme to the Congress connections and the fact that Rahul Gandhi had potentially met Nirav Modi, with every revelation, Congress’ tentacles in this scam become apparent.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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