Under fire from the grand secular alliance for his failure to bring back black money stashed abroad, senior Supreme Court lawyer and Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani today said he had become a “victim of fraud” by playing into the hands of Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley.
“Today I have come here to do ‘penance’ for what I did by promoting Narendra Modi as the leader of the country (before the Lok Sabha polls). I thought that God has sent him as his ‘Aulia’ (representative) for India’s salvation…How I became the victim of fraud,” Jethmalani said here.
The veteran lawyer was here to fight for the cause of army personnel’s demand for “One Rank One Pension”.
Jethmalani said both the UPA and Modi-led government at the Centre did nothing to bring black money from foreign tax havens and held both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley responsible for the failure to disclose the names of persons holding the black money.
“Both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley should be first arrested and prosecuted if we really want to bring back black money. Jaitley…took recourse under the garb of ‘Double Avoidance Tax Treaty (DATT),” he alleged.
The senior lawyer said German government had the names of 1,400 people who have stashed their money in tax havens abroad and the German government was ready to part with the information with the Indian government free of cost but with a rider that there should be a written request from the government.
“I wrote a two-line letter to BJP leaders and none of them signed the letter,” he said, adding that as per a BJP task force committee, there are USD 1,500 billion, which is equivalent to Rs 90 lakh crore, are lying in tax havens.
Stating that the government has not been able to bring back a single dollar in the country, Jethmalani said had the government been successful in bring black money, it would not have been facing financial problem in acceding to the demands of ex-servicemen on ‘OROP’.
“Bihar should be the starting point…Defeat them…They have made Ram Jethmalani fool but the people will not be fooled in Bihar,” Jethmalani observed.
Asked about the RSS view on reviewing the reservation system, Jethmalani said, “this was not the time to talk about this and this can be influenced by constitutional amendment only and not on the directive of the RSS.”
Pitching for the continuing with quota system, he said, “People from backward classes have not reached that level from where reservation can be abolished. It should be continued till society thinks that it was able to compete with others.”
Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement chairman Major General Satbir Singh said they would go to every place where elections would be held to educate people, especially defence personnel, of the need to vote for parties which talk about them.
He said there are about 2.5 lakh servicemen that included working, retired and war widows in the state who can influence around 25 lakh votes.
Annoyed with the OROP issue donning a political colour, Lt Col (rtd) Anila Sinha expressed reservation on politicising the issue, saying OROP has nothing to do with state elections.
Lt Col Sinha was heckled and forcibly pushed out from the venue saying that Sinha was from Gen V K Singh’s group.
Later talking to reporters, Lt Col Sinha said, he wanted them to talk on OROP and wondered how the state election was concerned with the central government or OROP.