The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party on saturday sparred over a news report that fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was living in a swanky apartment in London.
Slamming the Narendra Modi government, the Congress Saturday alleged fugitives had looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but not even one has been caught in five years.
The British daily Telegraph reported that billionaire diamond tycoon, accused in the USD 2 billion the Punjab National Bank fraud case, has been tracked down by it to an 8 million pound apartment in London's West End.
"Fugitive Nirav Modi has been seen enjoying in London, living in a Rs 75 crore flat and wearing a 10,000 pound jacket," Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
"First loot Rs 23,000 crore from banks, then run away from the country without any checks, mock the CBI and the ED and then make a comfortable home in a Rs 75 crore flat. Modi Hai to mumkin Hai (PM Narendra Modi is there, so it is possible)," he claimed.
It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running a "bank fraudsters settlement company" for the likes of Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, Surjewala alleged.
"Fugitives looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but you have not even caught one in the last five years," he claimed.
The BJP hit back at the oppositon party saying, Nirav Modi's fraud to cheat the banks started in 2011 when United Progressive Alliance government was in power.
"Nirav Modi’s fraud to cheat the banks started in 2011 when UPA government was in power. It was detected and exposed during the Modi govt," the BJP said on Twitter.
In a series of tweets the BJP said,"Many of these who cheated India during the UPA govt have been brought back and are in custody. Others will follow. They are living the life of fugitives and refugees. None who cheats India can get away under the Modi government."
"When was the facility of second restructuring of bank loans given to Mallya? under UPA government. Ulta Chor Chowkidar Ko Dante (the thief is scolding the watchman)," it added.
Nirav Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost £17,000 (Rs 15 lakh) a month, The Telegraph reported.
In a video posted by the newspaper, Nirav Modi can be seen sporting a handle-bar moustache and wearing an Ostrich Hide jacket, estimated to cost £10,000 (Rs 9.1 lakh). When journalists from the paper questioned him on various issues, including whether he has urged Britain to grant him asylum, Modi ducked them by saying, "Sorry, no comments".