Former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress nominee from Amritsar, Amarinder Singh on Thursday accused his rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Arun Jaitley for hiring “mercenaries” like Subramanian Swamy for character assassination of his opponents.
Mr. Swamy, a BJP leader, has been quoted in the media for accusing Captain Singh of indulging in perjury by not disclosing foreign funds in his wife’s and son’s name, while filing the affidavit at the time of submitting his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha polls.
In his ‘Campaign Diary — 10.4.2014’ posted on his Facebook page, Mr. Jaitley quoted Mr. Swamy’s statement that two key members of an important political family in Punjab had parked illegal funds abroad by registering a trust in a tax haven. He also cited that Mr. Swamy’s charge was based on documents related to the creation of a trust that was formed on July 26, 2005, when members of Mr. Singh’s family held powerful positions. Mr. Jaitley’s post did not directly name Capt Singh or any of his family members.
Mr. Jaitley also said that it would not be enough to dismiss the allegations as baseless and malicious when specific detail brought out by Mr. Swamy need to be answered. “It is for the Government of India, through its agencies, to issue a letter rogatory to competent authorities outside asking for details. It is only then that these details can either be confirmed or contradicted. Are the persons named in the Dr. Swami’s statement willing to waive off all legal rights in favour of the government agencies, asking the government to come out with confirmation or denial?” he wrote in the diary.
However, Capt. Singh asked Mr. Jaitley the reason for not naming the important political family in Punjab or “is it only because you know that it is all fiction, as it has been scripted by you only and circulated for the purpose of elections through hiring the services of a mercenary like Subramanian Swamy, who can do anything for a price.”
Accusing his opponent of attempting to ride piggyback on Mr. Swamy’s wild and baseless allegations, Capt. Singh said that the very fact that Mr. Jaitley had not dared to name the family spoke for itself about the malicious intentions behind the allegations.
“I can understand Jaitley’s frustration as nobody took Swamy seriously on this and now he is trying to take the malicious campaign further ahead but without daring to come forward himself,” Capt. Singh responded through a separate statement.