Advani says sorry to Sonia
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani has apologised to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for a party-appointed task force report, which had alleged that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts in Swiss banks.
BJP had appointed the task force on unravelling the amount of black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks and ways to bring it back. The report had alleged that Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi were among Indians who held Swiss bank accounts.
Image: BJP leader L K Advani
Advani expressed regret
This had led Sonia Gandhi to write a letter to Advani denying the allegation. Sources said in the letter, Gandhi had said that neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank accounts.
In his reply to the Congress president's letter, Advani expressed regret about the mention of her and Rajiv's name in the task force report.
Gandhis should have denied allegations publicly
However, Advani also stated in his reply that the Gandhis should have denied this publicly when there were murmurs that names of her family members could figure in the report.
Advani said had she done so, the name of her family members would not have been mentioned in the task force.
Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi
25 lakh crore stashed in foreign banks
The four-member task force comprising S Gurumurthy, former Intelligence Bureau director Ajit Doval, Professor R Vadiyanathan and advocate Mahesh Jethmalani has put the figure of money stashed in safe havens to be 25 lakh crore.
On February 1, NDA leaders had released a booklet called 'Indian Black Money Abroad in Secret Banks and Tax Havens', the second report of the task force appointed by the BJP.
'I thought Mr Advani has retired'
Union minister and Congress leader Ambika Soni took a dig at Advani for his apology, saying she thought he 'had retired'.
"I thought Mr Advani has retired some time ago and made way for younger people like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley," she said.
"Mr Advani has been making a statement every day on different subjects. Probably he doesn't have enough time to study what he is saying," she said.
Image: Ambika Soni