Fugitive economic offender Nirav Modi (file photo)
Fugitive economic offender Nirav Modi (file photo)

BJP govt brought back Nirav Modi, will send him back after elections: Oppositon hit out at Centre

ANI | Updated: Mar 20, 2019 22:42 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 20 (ANI): After fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was arrested in London, the Opposition on Wednesday questioned the BJP-led Central government over the timing of the arrest, particularly when Lok Sabha election is round the corner.
The Congress suspected that the BJP will be using his arrest for election purposes and send him back after the polls.
"They (BJP) had only helped him flee the country. Now they are bringing him back. They are bringing him back for the elections and they will send him back after elections," said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress leader Renuka Choudhary slammed BJP's 'Mein Bhi Chowkidar' campaign.
"This (Nirav Modi's arrest) is fantastic timing. Of course, this was going to happen because elections are on. When there were so many chowkidars (watchmen), how did people like Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi leave (the country)?" she told ANI.
National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took a jibe at the BJP for taking credit of arresting Nirav Modi and reminded him that it was the journalists from British daily Daily Telegraph who found the fugitive diamond trader in London.
"It’s amusing to see the BJP falling over itself to credit the PM with the Nirav Modi arrest while completely ignoring the fact that it was The Telegraph of London & it’s correspondent who found Nirav Modi, not the PM & his agencies," he wrote on Twitter.
"It takes a special kind of hubris to roam around Oxford Street without a care in the world the way #NiravModi was. It’s no wonder it caught up with him," read another tweet.
However, Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar accused the Opposition of not allowing the poor in the country to live with dignity.
"We have vowed to take action against those who looted money and ran away. This is a huge campaign against corruption. The Opposition, particularly the Congress, is not allowing the poor to live with dignity and self-respect," Javadekar told ANI.
"Christian Michel, Rajiv Talwar and Deepak Saxena were brought back. Even Vijay Mallya is about to come back. These people have to come back and return the money they looted," he added.
Meanwhile, Nirav Modi's bail plea has been rejected by London Court and he will remain in custody till March 29.
The Scotland Yard had said that Modi was arrested on behalf of Indian authorities on Tuesday afternoon (local time) in Holborn. Sources said that he was arrested from Holborn metro station.
The fugitive diamond merchant Modi is wanted for his alleged involvement in Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam.
A non-bailable warrant (NBW) has also been issued against Ami Modi, wife of Nirav, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), said ED sources.
ED has also got permission to sell 173 paintings, the proceeds of which will be deposited with the investigating agency. His 11 cars will also be auctioned.
The arrest of Modi comes days after the fugitive businessman was tracked down to a 33-storey Centre Point Apartment complex in London’s Theatre district. The tower was an office complex and was converted into luxury residences with prices ranging from £2 million to £55 million all with superb views over the city of London.
Modi was believed to be living in a property worth £8 million apartments in the tower. The rent for a similar apartment in the tower comes to approximately £17,000 a month, Daily Telegraph had reported.
One of the prime accused in the PNB scam in India, Modi is the subject of an extradition request by India, along with an Interpol Red Corner Notice being issued against him. Modi is the prime accused in Rs 13,000 crore PNB loan fraud case, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi.
Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018. Both Modi and Choksi left India in January last year before the PNB scam came out in the public. The duo has not returned to India despite repeated summons from probe agencies and courts. (ANI)