Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi alleged on Friday that the BJP-led Centre is an “expert in event management” and claimed that the “white paper” brought by it on the country’s economy during the UPA rule was an “election stunt”.
Participating in a debate in the Lok Sabha on the “white paper” presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman comparing the state of the economy during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regimes, the MP from Assam’s Kaliabor accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of sheltering corrupt people and misusing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target the opposition.
“This government is an expert in event management. An example that we have seen today is that the white paper is not a white paper but an election stunt, an election drama. It is an attempt to hide the government’s repeated failures, it is a conspiracy, but people are not going to fall into this trap. They do not trust the white paper, even their party members do not trust it…. That is why there was no quorum today and people went outside,” Gogoi said.
“Because these facts have not been proved, not verified … they take rumours to people again and again. They have accused us of corruption…. The way they have been working for 10 years, they have sheltered corrupt people. How are they saying ‘na khaunga na khane dunga’ when whoever is corrupt joins the BJP and they welcome them,” he added.
The Congress leader alleged that the ED has become a part of the BJP and is being misused for “politically-motivated raids”.
“The ED has become a part of the BJP. It is being misused…. It is being used to scuttle the voices of democracy and opposition. It is a tool to welcome the corrupt in the party. A Supreme Court affidavit says a clear trend of using ED raids as a tool of harassment has been indicated…. The action rate of the raids from 2005 to 2014 was 93 per cent, which has now been reduced to 29 per cent.
“Only 23 convictions under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) have been secured…. Why is the conviction rate so low? Because these raids are motivated. The ED is not arresting economic offenders hiding in foreign countries,” he said.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Saugata Roy alleged that there has not been a bigger scam than demonetisation and said the finance minister should apologise to the country for the same. “Before bringing such a white paper, the finance minister should have apologised to the country for demonetisation…. A scam of this magnitude has not happened in history…. They (BJP) used to say that black money will be brought back.
“Hundred and fifty crore people struggled standing in queues and now, they are making tall claims…. If they are against corruption, where are the economic offenders hiding abroad? You have a law for fugitive economic offenders, then why are they not being brought back?” Roy asked.