Senior Supreme Court lawyer and Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani on Sunday urged the people of Bihar to vote for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and defeat the BJP-led NDA in the Assembly polls.
“I would appeal to the people here to vote for Nitish Kumar to defeat the Bhartiya Janata Party… Prime Minister Narendra Modi should suffer a defeat in Bihar because he has cheated people of the country,” he told journalists here.
He said Mr. Modi must be punished for his “anti-people policies”. “The BJP should be taught a lesson for having defrauded the people and the armed forces.” Mr. Jethamalani was here to take part in a private programme to support the veterans’ demand for ‘one rank one pension.’
On Saturday, he criticised Mr. Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the issue of black money. He said he came to Bihar to do “penance” for promoting Mr. Modi as leader of the country (before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls).
“I thought God had sent him as his ‘Aulia’ [representative] for India’s salvation... How I became the victim of fraud.” The UPA and Modi governments “did nothing to bring back black money from foreign tax havens,” he said, holding the former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, and Mr. Jaitley responsible for their failure to disclose the names of those who had black money abroad.
“Both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley should first be arrested and prosecuted if we really want to bring back black money. Jaitley took recourse under the garb of “Double Avoidance Tax Treaty (DATT)”, he alleged.
He said the German government had the names of 1,400 people who had stashed away their money abroad and it was ready to share the information with the Indian government, but on a written request. “Now Bihar should be the starting point…defeat them..they’ve made Ram Jethamalani fool but the people in Bihar will not be fooled”, said Mr Jethmalani.