Advani files nomination, raises black money issue (Lead)April 8th, 2009 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS
Gandhinagar, April 8 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani Wednesday filed his nomination for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat and promised that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), if voted to power, would strive to bring back black money stashed in tax havens abroad.
“The NDA will contest the Lok Sabha polls on the three planks of good governance, development and secularism, mentioned in the BJP poll manifesto,” he told reporters after filing his nomination papers at the Gandhinagar district collector’s office.
He was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP president Purshottam Rupala.
Advani, former deputy prime minister, has been contesting successfully from this constituency, which also includes parts of Ahmedabad, since 1991. However, he chose not to contest in the 1996 elections.
This time, his main rivals are Suresh Patel, a sitting legislator, of the Congress and noted artist-activist Mallika Sarabhai who is contesting as an independent.
Advani told reporters the government needs to know if there is any Indian whose money is deposited in Swiss banks.
“I wrote to the prime minister (Manmohan Singh) on the black money issue and he has replied in the affirmative,” Advani said.
“Why should our (India’s) money be lying in banks abroad? If we pursue the matter, which the NDA would do it anyway when voted to power, India would have all the financial resources to complete its various developmental projects,” he said.
“Whatever funds are required for the development of the country would be arranged. There were doubts raised by the Congress that the projects such as the Golden Quadrilateral (highway project) and East-West Corridor would need a lot of funding which the NDA provided for during its rule at the centre,” he said.
“If we could bring back all the money of Indians stashed abroad, there would be no dearth of funding for any project. The government of Germany had recently asked for a list of German individuals whose money was stashed away in a Swiss bank. The government of Switzerland had revealed names of about 300 German nationals whose money was lying in Swiss banks,” he said.
The US administration has also approached Switzerland with a request to reveal the names of US businessmen who have their money stashed away in Swiss banks, he added.
Advani had started raising this demand in the run-up to the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London, also attended by Manmohan Singh, where the issue was discussed.
He said the NDA is committed on the issue of good governance and the BJP had also promised in its manifesto.
Praising Modi, he said: “Other states in the country could follow the good governance practices of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.”
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