The Congress on Thursday accused the PM Modi-led NDA government of complacency in taking action against "scamsters" like Nirav Modi and questioned how he was able to travel to three countries even after his passport was revoked by Indian authorities.
Congress leader and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla attacked the government alleging it was in "connivance" with people who have indulged in bank scams worth thousands of crores of rupees.
"The government and the Ministry of External Affairs should respond to reports that have come through Interpol that Nirav Modi travelled on an Indian passport which had been revoked by the Government of India," he told reporters.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala tweeted, "Art of helping 'Chotta Modi' - Nirav Modi travelled freely on Indian Passport to UK, USA and Hong Kong as Modi government intentionally failed to convey revocation of passport to authorities."
"Please remember that Chotta Modi number 1' was also helped to travel similarly," he said, in an apparent reference to Lalit Modi.
Senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot also said investigation agencies have failed to trace a man whose movements have been made known to them by Interpol.
"Why is the NDA government not taking action? Who is helping Nirav Modi escape our agencies? What is the compulsion of government to let him hop around in Europe?," he said, adding that the Modi government is in the dock over Nirav Modi episode.
Shukla said according to reports, the passport of Modi was revoked on February 24 and he travelled three countries on March 15, 28, 30 and 31st.
"How did he manage to travel? Why was the information about the revocation of his passport not given to the agencies concerned including the Interpol. This is a serious matter; it is a matter of great concern. I want the Ministry of External Affairs to respond to this issue," he said.
The Congress leader said the Modi government has been caught "snoozing, Chhota Modi number 2 - Nirav Modi- the absconding accused in India's 'biggest bank loot scam' is on a travel spree using a 'revoked passport' by the Ministry of External Affairs".
"Now it is crystal clear that Modi is saving another Modi! Now the question is, whether one Modi is supporting the other?" Shukla said.
He said the shocking revelation effectively punctures the Modi government's claims of 'taking action' against fraudsters like Nirav Modi, who is accused of Rs 28,484 crore Punjab National Bank loot scam, and Interpol has "written a damning letter to India's investigative agencies stating that despite the revocation of his passport on February 24, 2018, Nirav Modi travelled 3 countries on 4 different dates. "
Shukla alleged that "Nirav Modi fleeces, escapes and flies freely, but Modi government remains a mute spectator".
"Modi government's complete inaction, utter complacency and downright lethargy is responsible for looters running away with people's money in banks!" he said.
Shukla alleged that even as Nirav Modi shifted all his dummy directors from Hong Kong to Cairo and travelled conveniently from Hong Kong to UK to seek political asylum, the Modi government remained a mute spectator.
"This happened at the same time when PM Modi was visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping. Why?," he asked.
The former minister said the British Minister has stated that Nirav Modi has applied for asylum in UK and this tells us that UK government is more aware of this issue than Indian government.
"We don't see any action from the Modi government against the people who have looted our banks and escaped," he said.
Alleging that crony capitalism has been the hallmark of the Modi government's economic track record, Shukla said the RBI has exposed Modi Government's "lie" and has blamed the internal workings of the PSU bank boards appointed by them as the real cause of frauds.
"Will the BJP government now accept its grave highhandedness and bring the fraudsters within the Banking System to book?" he said.
Earlier, Shukla alleged that people are scared to keep their money in banks due to recurring scams as there has been a sharp decline over the last financial year in monthly receipts from small savings schemes, including in public provident funds, according to the latest RBI data.
In the first eight months of the financial year 2017-18, he said, receipts within small savings schemes amounted to Rs 40,429 crore, a seven-fold dip from Rs 2,75,682 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
"People have less money in their hands, even of their own hard earned savings. Is this not betrayal of people of India?
"While the PM gives 'Fitness Lessons' on Social Media, it is business as usual, for fraudsters like Nirav Modi. It is ridiculous and painful to witness that a 'Strong' Modi Govt is caught snoozing, even as Nirav Modi travels indulges in globetrotting while making a mockery out our systems!" Shukla said in a statement.