PM Modi backs Arun Jaitley, says he will come out clean

SansadTV Bureau

PM-Modi-at-ParliamentPrime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly backed Union Finance minister and the leader of House in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitely, who is currently battling the charges of alleged financial irregularities in Delhi’s Cricket body when he was at its helm. Addressing the BJP Parliamentary party just ahead of resumption of both the houses Tuesday morning, PM Modi asserted that Arun Jaitley will definitely come out clean in an on-going DDCA controversy.

“Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as L K Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister told his party’s Parliamentary unit.

The ruling party is confronting the demands of his ouster, raised by the Congress party on the floor of Parliament as well as outside. The controversy broke out last week, after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged financial irregularities in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) during Jaitley’s tenure as its president. On his party, the Finance Minister has rejected the charges, terming them all “baseless” and “false”.

The Prime Minister, too, has now thrown his weight behind Mr. Jaitley, accusing the principal opposition party of raking up a non-issue.

“Congress is raking up manufactured allegations to defame government,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted as saying by Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu in the morning.

Kirti-Azad-2The ruling party, however, is also plagued with in-house troubles on the issue with their sitting MP from Darbhanga, Kiriti Azad strongly seeking probe in the entire matter. A day after he had addressed a press conference in New Delhi alleging financial irregularities in DDCA, Kirti Azad demanded a “time-bound” SIT probe into the same, while speaking in Lok Sabha on Monday.

In a significant development on the floor of Parliament, Kirti Azad spoke right after Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley had responded to the Opposition’s protest demanding his resignation.

“The charges (against me) are baseless and wrong. This is all I have to say,” Arun Jaitley had said on Monday afternoon, adding further that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) report did not find any fault with the expenditure and accepted the cost incurred.

But intervening in the debate on the floor of lower house, Kiriti Azad sought a “time-bound probe, CBI, SIT probe”, defying several of his own party colleagues who were seen urging him to not speak. Arun Jaitley too was present in the house when Azad spoke on the matter.

Yesterday, Jaitley also moved Delhi court filing a civil as well as criminal defamation case againt Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders and members of AAP, who had conducted a presser on the DDCA issue.