PM Modi backs Jaitley, says FM will come through with flying colours like Advani

PM Modi at parliamentary board meeting of the BJP

New Delhi, Dec 22: In a strong show of support for Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Finance Minister will come through “with flying colours” against charges of corruption
levelled against him by the opposition in a same way L K Advani did in the Hawala case.

Batting for Jaitley, accused by Congress and AAP of financial irregularities in Delhi cricket body when he headed it, Modi hit out at Congress at BJP’s parliamentary party meeting for levelling “wrong and manufactured” allegations to “defame” the government.

At the parliamentary party, no reference was made to similar charges made by BJP MP Kirti Azad, who was not present in the meeting today.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu quoted Modi as having said that BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje had similarly faced such “wrong” charges from Congress earlier.

Advani and a number of other leaders were investigated by CBI during the Congress government headed by P V Narasimha Rao.

Manwhile, opposition leaders wondered if the Finance Minister
will also resign like party veteran Advani did in the Hawala case, a suggestion rejected by BJP.

“Modi: ‘I am sure Arun Jaitley would come out clean as Advaniji did in Hawala case’. But would Jaitley resign as Advaniji did ? No question!,” tweeted senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury claimed that Modi has signalled to Jaitley to resign in the wake of DDCA row by citing Advani’s example in the Hawala case.

“By drawing a parallel with Advani, the Prime Minister is giving a hint to Arun Jaitley that he should resign, get himself cleared and come back. I read it as a signal to Jaitley that you also do
the same thing”, he told reporters.

BJP was quick to dismiss such claims. “There is no parallel between charges against Advani and Jaitley. CBI had registered a case, launched a criminal investigation and Advani quit as an MP on moral grounds. There is no criminal probe against Jaitley. These are allegations leveled by opposition which are unsupported by evidence.

BJP has rallied around Jaitley as Congress and AAP have tried to corner him over the issue and demanded his resignation. Party chief Amit Shah issued a strong statement in his support on Monday.

A number of Union Ministers had also joined Jaitley, a key party strategist, in a court where he had filed defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders.

(With Agency Inputs)

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