Explosive tweet claims Nirav Modi had private meeting with PM at Davos

On Thursday, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said PM Modi never spoke with Nirav Modi at Davos. But an explosive tweet claims Nirav Modi and his brother had a “privileged meeting” with the PM

IANS Photo
IANS Photo

NH Political Bureau

The opposition on Thursday mounted a belligerent attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, accusing it of failing to act on time against a bank fraud of ₹20,000 crore and of complicity in letting the alleged kingpin billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi flee the country. The BJP-led government refused to take the blame for the fraud in India's second biggest state-run bank Punjab National Bank, with senior ministers saying that the scam happened during the UPA rule and that PM Modi wouldn’t spare anyone involved in the scam.

But India Today’s Managing Editor Rahul Kanwal tweeted that the original whistleblower in the case SV Hari Prasad told Kanwal that he complained to the Prime Minister’s Office in July 2016 about massive fraud by diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, business partner of Nirav Modi. The PMO forwarded the complaint to the Registrar of Companies and Prasad claims ROC sent him a letter closing the case without even asking him for evidence.

On Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had also said cited the complaint by Prasad, alleging that PM Modi was made aware of this fraud on July 26, 2016 and it was acknowledged by the PMO. "Multiple documents, including a list of 42 FIRs that were pending, were also in the knowledge of the Prime Minister. Despite all this, Nirav Modi travelled in the business delegation to Davos in January with Prime Minister Modi," alleged Surjewala.“Who is responsible for biggest bank loot scam unleashed by chhota Modi?" he asked”

The Congress circulated a picture of Prime Minister Modi with Indian CEOs at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January in which Nirav Modi is seen standing in the second row. It asked Prime Minister Modi to come clean on the government's "failure" and identify those who helped the "Chhota Modi" run away.

The BJP took offence to Congress calling Nirav a "Chhota Modi", saying it was shameful and irresponsible. IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was "derogatory, scandalous and demeaning" to the Prime Minister. Ravi Shankar Prasad also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi never spoke to Nirav Modi at the recently concluded World Economic Forum at Davos, as had been alleged.

But on Thursday evening, senior print and broadcast journalist and author Swati Chaturvedi tweeted that her sources told her Nirav Modi and his brother had “a privileged private meeting” with PM Modi at Davos.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi alleged that Nirav Modi's case was a guide to "looting India" which involves getting closer to and hugging Prime Minister Modi and then slipping away from the country—like liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Nirav Modi is said to have left the country on January 1 this year with other accused family members leaving within a week. The Hindu journalist Devesh Pandey reported on February 15 that Nirav Modi left the country on January 1. His wife, an American citizen, left on January 6. Mehul Choksi left on January 4. His brother, an accused is a Belgium citizen. CBI issued look-out circular on Jan 31, the day FIR was lodged and bank complained on January 29.

Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta was clearly unwilling to buy the government’s explanations, pointing out that since all the “jeweller Modis” left India in the first week of January, “They were surely forewarned. One even shows up in Davos to be seen with PM. CBI registers case conveniently on 29 Jan day after Davos ended. This is no coincidence but complicity.”

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Published: 16 Feb 2018, 8:41 AM