The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday slammed the Congress over charge sheets filed against former Union finance minister P Chidambaram’s family. Addressing a press conference, senior party leader and minister of defence, Nirmala Sitharaman, wondered if this was the Congress party’s “Nawaz Sharif moment”.
Sitharaman was referring to a historic decision made by a Pakistani court against the country’s then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, where the latter was disqualified from holding his office over non-disclosure of assets and income earned abroad. “The parallels cannot be missed out in this case. I am wondering if for Congress party in India, we are seeing the Nawaz Sharif moment,” she told reporters in Delhi.
On May 11, the Income Tax department filed charge sheets against Chidambaram’s wife Nalini, son Karti, daughter-in-law Srinidhi and a firm. The charges were framed under the Black Money Act for allegedly not disclosing their foreign assets.
Taking a jibe at Congress, Sitharaman asked if Congress chief Rahul Gandhi would investigate the issue involving the former Union finance minister.
She said that Gandhi, who is also out on bail on some allegedly questionable financial transactions, should comment and tell the entire party and people of India whether he is going to investigate the issue or not.
Sitharaman said Pakistan Supreme Court had disqualified Sharif from holding office because of not disclosing assets held in foreign countries.
Further, the Defence minister pointed out that the law on black money was brought in by the Modi government because it had pledged to fight black money held in India and abroad before the last Lok Sabha elections.
The IT department has filed the charge sheets before a special court in Chennai under Section 50 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
The alleged undisclosed property by Chidambaram’s family includes immovable assets such as one at Barton, Cambridge, UK, worth Rs 5.37 crore, property worth Rs 80 lakh in the same country and assets worth Rs 3.28 crore in the US.