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‘Name will embarrass individual, not Cong’

‘Name will embarrass individual, not Cong’
Highlights

In April, while Chidambaram was Finance Minister, a list of Indians with bank accounts in Liechtenstein was given to the Supreme Court, but both the previous government and the new one say that the names must be kept confidential for now.

Black money issue: Purpose of Arun Jaitley's attack was to black mail the Congress party

I did not ask to see nor was I shown names. So whose name is there I don't know: Chidambaram

Other highlights

  • Affidavit in SC on black money was a U-turn from BJP's position.
  • Even UPA said it will disclose names once charges are filed.
  • BJP criticised our stand; now they are taking same position
  • Pushed Swiss authorities to enter into pact to disclose names
  • Any govt in power for 10-15 yrs is bound to face graft allegations
  • May be Vadra case created a perception for the Congress
  • SC order on coal right; but several areas have have thrown up new problems
  • Cong morale is low, leadership needs to respond urgently
  • Congress reorganisation long overdue; must start soonest.
  • Sonia most acceptable Congress leader; amongst youth it's Rahul.
  • A non-Gandhian can be Congress president in the future. As long as Sonia Gandhi is Congress president, she is numero uno.

ChidambaramNew Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has warned that the Congress will confront "embarrassment" because "a big name" from the party is on the list of Indians who hold illicit foreign bank accounts. Jaitley's predecessor and Congress leader P Chidambaram disagrees. "Whatever name is there will embarrass the individual, the party won't be. These are individual transgressions," said Chidambaram, breaking his silence in an exclusive interview to NDTV.

In April, while Chidambaram was Finance Minister, a list of Indians with bank accounts in Liechtenstein was given to the Supreme Court, but both the previous government and the new one say that the names must be kept confidential for now.

"I did not ask to see nor was I shown the names. So whose name is there I don't know," Chidambaram said in his first interview since the UPA lost power in May. There are reports that the "big name" referred to by Jaitley was a minister in the government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh which was trounced by the BJP in the May election.

Earlier this week, Jaitley said that his government has been wrongly attacked by the opposition Congress for allegedly being reluctant about releasing the names of Indians who have siphoned untaxed or black money to tax havens like Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Jaitley said that tax treaties with these countries ban the disclosure of names at preliminary stages of inquiry. He said that in many cases, the investigations are close to being completed and names will then be shared with the Supreme Court, at which point, they will become public via the media.

"The purpose of Jaitley's comment was to move from black money to black mail, just release the name," Chidambaram said, adding to Congress voices like Ajay Maken who have said the government must steer clear of "vindictiveness" and "selective leakage" of names.

He added, "The BJP's position today is identical to the one we took, and legally it is the right position to take. They were wrong to criticise us back then."

The Congress says the BJP, which vowed during its campaign for the National election to bring back black money to India within 100 days of being elected, must now admit that its promises were bluster.

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