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Black money issue may have an anticlimax

November 07, 2011 22:39 IST

The UPA government has been facing a lot of flak for not doing enough to unearth the black money kept by Indians in banks abroad. Sheela Bhatt reports. 

According to sources in the ministry involved in the processing of more than 600 illegal accounts of Indians in the HSBC bank's Swiss branch, none of the account holders are "well-known Congressmen".

The non-political source, who has carefully gone through the list of illegal account holders, claims that Bharatiya Janta Party will have to face embarrassment if and when the list is published.

Since the last few months, the issue of "black money kept in foreign banks" has become highly sensitive. The United Progressive Alliance government has been facing flak for not doing enough to unearth the black money kept by Indians in banks abroad. 

Activist Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and BJP leader L K Advani have relentlessly raised the issue of sleaze money weakening the Indian economy at public platforms. They want the government to sincerely act against the people who are severely damaging the Indian economy by engaging in illegal outward flight of money.

The finance ministry has received over 600 names of Indians, who have accounts in HSBC bank's Switzerland branch, from the government of France.

As reported earlier on, these names were obtained by the French government after an employee of HSBC bank became a whistleblower. He took refuge in France and brought out a long list of account holders who have allegedly stashed money in the Swiss branch of HSBC bank.  

On November 5, while in Mumbai, Advani had demanded that the government reveal details of its investigations. "Three MPs have been named--one each from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana-- in the list of those having Swiss bank accounts. This is a very serious issue. If this is true, then obviously the issue of black money comes close to the political system. It cannot be dealt with only as a tax evasion case," Advani had told reporters in Mumbai.

In view of the fact that it was Advani who had raised the issue of black money in last the Lok Sabha election, if the names of people linked with the BJP are revealed by the ministry of finance, it would be, politically speaking, an anticlimax.

The BJP and many other political leaders have requested the government to reveal the names of Swiss bank account holders without any delay.

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi