New Delhi: Leaders of the Janata Parivar raised the issue of black money both inside and outside parliament Monday, hitting out at the NDA government for failing to fulfil its promise of bringing back illegal cash stashed abroad. They also accused it of fomenting communal tensions.
Political heavyweights from the Janata Parivar, comprising the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) gathered in the Jantar Mantar area in the heart of the capital to address a rally denouncing the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
“Why has the NDA government failed to fulfil its promises made before the (Lok Sabha) election?” asked JD-U leader Nitish Kumar.
“Where is the black money it promised to bring back (from abroad)?”
“The prime minister has campaigned across the nation. He had said that he would bring back black money; what happened to the promises he made? They are spending money on religious conversions, they made false promises during poll campaign, and now they are diverting people’s attention,” said the former Bihar chief minister.
He accused Modi of not acting tough against right-wing Hindu groups charged with religious conversion of Christians and Muslims and said the country should not be divided on religious grounds.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad were equally critical.
Mulayam Singh said: “They promised jobs to all the youth and Rs.15 lakh to everyone (from the black money they would bring back). They even asked people to open bank accounts. But where is the money?”
“The BJP’s conspiracy is to engineer riots so that attention is shifted away from the government’s failures,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
“The Agra incident was just a beginning. They will do such things across the country,” Mulayam Singh said, referring to the conversion of 300 Muslims families in his state.
Lalu Prasad alleged that Modi was attempting to cause religious divide in the country by tacitly encouraging religious conversions.
“The minorities have also fought for India’s independence and the Modi government engages in ‘ghar vapsi’ (home-coming),” he said.
JD-U chief Sharad Yadav said: “Janata Parivar is protesting at the venue (Jantar Mantar) against the government over black money. You promised good days, employment”.
The issue was raised again in both houses by members of these parties. In the Lok Sabha, they also staged a walkout over the issue. Members of the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress also held protests in the parliament premises.
In the lower house, Mulayam Singh accused the government and Prime Minister Modi of not fulfilling the promises made to people who voted him to power.
Members of the RJD and the JD-U also demanded a statement from the prime minister over the issue.
The SP chief said promises were made that farmers would get money in their accounts and that land encroached by China and Pakistan would be taken back. But “these promises have not been fulfilled”.
Both houses of parliament have debated the issue of black money during the winter session.