Kejriwal targets black money, HSBC’s ‘brazen hawala racket’

FP

While questioning the alleged Swiss bank account of Annu Tandon, Kejriwal also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi and President Pranab Mukherjee.

"I have read that she is a part of the core group of Rahul Gandhi and he had been instrumental in getting her the Congress ticket... Some people told us that the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had given a statement in Parliament that no MP figures in the black money list. If that is correct, then he had obviously been lying. He may have become president, but he cannot escape questions. He should clarify on what basis raids were conducted only on small fry while the likes of Goyal, the Ambanis and the Birlas were let off," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal claimed that the total black money accounted for in the list obtained by India Against Corruption (IAC) is about Rs 6,000 crore whereas "there is a statement from the CBI director that black money stashed abroad is to the tune of Rs 25 lakh crore."

All 700 people on the list should be raided and their statements recorded, the activist-turned-politician demanded. They should also produce all their bank statements and explain each entry, he said.

Kejrwal cited statements from three accountholders in HSBC's Geneva branch to allege that the bank is "openly and brazenly running a hawala racket in India".

"It appears that perhaps it is easier to open a Swiss bank account than it is to open an SBI account. You just need to contact HSBC in India. They would send someone, get forms filled up and your account would be opened in Geneva or Dubai. Deposit or withdrawal of money is just a phone call away and all of that is doorstep service," he alleged.

Kejriwal said that "if (the government) is not acting (against HSBC) it is either inefficient or sold out", and called upon all 32,000 of the bank's Indian employees to resign in the "national interest".

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