Gadkari targets UPA on black money

Chennai: BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi should explain what prevented the government from disclosing names of Indians who had stashed money in Swiss banks.

"I want to ask a million dollar question to the Congress party. Why are you not declaring the names of those who have deposited the black money in Swiss bank accounts?" Gadkari said at the rally marking the end of the BJP state unit`s 40-day yatra ahead of the Assembly polls due in May.

He demanded that the reasons for not revealing the names of Indian Swiss bank account holders be made public, stepping up his party`s pressure over the issue that has come under the close scrutiny of the Supreme Court.

The apex court had pulled up the government for withholding information on black money stashed in foreign banks, saying it is not just limited to tax evasion but a "mind boggling crime" amounting to "theft" and "plunder" of national wealth having security ramifications

Gadkari said if the black money deposited in the Swiss Bank accounts was brought back to the country, it could be used for interlinking of rivers.

"When NDA comes to power, we will bring all the black money back to India and spend it for the interlinking of rivers to help the water-starved southern states," he said.

Urging the gathering to follow former President A P J Abdul Kalam who had advocated interlinking of rivers, he said, "It is time for Tamilians to decide whom they want to follow — whether it is Abdul Kalam or Rahul Gandhi who is against interlinking of rivers."

On the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, he said it was not only related to Tamil Nadu but also had become a national problem and assured support of his party in securing fundamental rights for them.

"It is the democratic duty of Sri Lanka to give fundamental rights to Tamils there. I assure you we will support them in getting all the fundamental rights," he said.

He said the BJP would raise this issue in Parliament.

Gadkari also announced that BJP would donate Rs 10 lakh to his party`s Seva Committee which is working for the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils.