New Delhi: India Against Corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said he was a dengue mosquito and would bite the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Kejriwal said this while responding to External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's statement that Kejriwal's attack was just a mosquito bite that causes minor irritation. Kejriwal said, "I am a dengue mosquito. I will bite the Congress and BJP and then they will be in trouble."
Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday hit out at Kejriwal for levelling charges of financial wrongdoing against people through the media and alleged that his only aim is to defame people. "If he (Kejriwal) has any evidence he should go to the government or any government agency. Merely by levelling allegations before the media he can only defame somebody but cannot get anything substantial out of it. This shows that he is only interested in defaming people," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters.
He challenged that if Kejriwal has any genuine documents then he should hand them over to the government. "If anybody has done anything wrong law will take its own course," Alvi said.
The government dismissed Kejriwal's allegations of black money against big corporate houses, saying there is nothing new in it. "Nothing new in the allegations. This has already been discussed in Parliament. Government may issue a statement if required," the government said.
Kejriwal hit back saying it is the government's job to find proofs. "They want proofs from us when they should be finding out proofs against them," Kejriwal said.
Corporate houses deny allegations
Reliance Industries Limited, the HSBC bank, the Dabur group have all denied the charges levelled against them by India Against Corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal who accused their chiefs of having crores of cash deposits in Swiss bank accounts where money, he alleged, was transferred through hawala.
Reliance Industries denied that chief Mukesh Ambani had stashed Rs 100 crore in black money in the HSBC Bank in Geneva. It issued a press release, rubbishing Kejriwal's allegations. The company said that neither Reliance Industries Limited nor Mukesh Ambani had any accounts with HSBC in Geneva. The company added that vested interests seemed to be behind such baseless allegations.
HSBC Bank, however, came out with a more cautious reaction saying that it took compliance with the law very seriously. "HSBC Bank in India notes certain allegations made today. The bank cannot comment on the specific details of the allegations that have been made, which relate to issues in the past," it said in its statement. "HSBC takes compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously. With a new senior global leadership team and a new strategy in place since last year, HSBC continues to take concrete steps to strengthen compliance, risk management and culture," the bank added.
Dabur India, on the other hand, regretted the allegations against the Burman brothers, saying, "It was unfortunate that every person having a foreign bank account is being painted with the same brush." Kejriwal had accused the Burman brothers of having accounts at the HSBC bank in Geneva. "We wish to state that these accounts were opened by the Burman family members when they were NRIs, and were legally allowed to open such accounts," the Dabur India statement said.
Claiming that the monies have been sent out of the declared and tax-assessed incomes received in India, the statement said the amounts have been officially remitted from India through official banking channels and as per applicable FEMA guidelines. "The complete details regarding the remittances have been voluntarily, and as per law, filed with the Income Tax Department, and appropriate taxes paid as applicable," the statement said.
India Against Corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Friday targeted several top Indian business groups and a Congress MP, alleging that they had stashed black money worth several hundred crores in the HSBC Bank in Geneva, Switzerland. He claimed that a senior Congress leader gave him the details about the black money. "The black money from Swiss banks can come but the government doesn't wish to bring it back," Kejriwal said.
Targeting the Ambani brothers, Kejriwal claimed that Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani had Rs 100 crore each in banks in Switzerland. "Anil Ambani has Rs 100 crore in HSBC Bank in Geneva. Mukesh Ambani also has Rs 100 crore in HSBC Bank in Geneva," Kejriwal said, claiming he has got a few names from the list of Swiss account holders from sources. However, the HSBC Bank had in a statement in January 2012 apologised to Mukesh Ambani for putting his name on a list of alleged Swiss bank account holders.
Kejriwal also targeted Congress MP Annu Tandon, alleging she had Rs 125 crore in Swiss accounts. He alleged that a total of Rs 6,000 crore was stashed abroad. Annu Tandon reacted saying Kejriwal's allegations were baseless.
The activist-turned-politician also alleged that three family members of Dabur group and Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways have crores stashed in Swiss banks.
He also said that the process of opening an account in the Geneva branch of HSBC Bank was easier than opening an account in the SBI account. "Documents show how easy it is to operate the Swiss accounts sitting here in India. Documents show how money gets deposited and transferred through hawala. Opening an account is just a matter of a phone call," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal claimed that only 100 people of those in the list of 700 people having Swiss bank accounts have been raided. "Why did the government not raid the Ambanis and the Daburs? Small fish were raided by the ED, I-T Department, but the big guys were let off," Kejriwal said.