Mumbai: BJP leader L K Advani on Saturday asked the government to disclose the names of three MPs who figure in the list of 700 Indians who have stashed funds in Swiss bank accounts, terming it as a serious matter which brings the issue of black money close to the political system.
    
"Three MPs have been named--one each from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana-- in the list of those having Swiss bank accounts. This is a very serious issue. If this is true, then obviously the issue of blackmoney comes close to the political system. It cannot be dealt with only as a tax evasion case," Advani told reporters here.
    
Demanding that full facts in this connection be made public, he said, "I, as an MP, have the right to know who they are and what action has been taken against them. It is not merely a case of tax evasion, it is a crime. Particularly if the amount is a large one, it may well be a case of money earned out of criminality."
    
Asking whether the Centre is really interested in exposing those who have funds stashed abroad, Advani said he has been demanding that the government must come out with a white paper spelling out steps taken to bring back the country's black money.
    
Countries like USA, Germany, France and even smaller nations like Philippines, Peru and Nigeria have taken a variety of measures to bring back black money parked in foreign bank accounts with great success.
    
"Why is the UPA government not ready to do the same," he asked.
     
Announcing that Parliament's winter session is bound to focus on black money, he said, "It would be appropriate if the government presents a status paper on black money during the upcoming session." he said.
     
The Income Tax department is probing a list of 700 Indians having accounts with a multi-national bank in Geneva after the government received information in this regard reportedly from the French government. Reminding the Prime Minister of his announcement that steps would be initiated against black money within 100 days of UPA's second term in office, Advani said, "A few months ago the Swiss Ambassador to India said if the Indian government shows the political will the Swiss government was willing to cooperate."
    
Countries like the US, Germany, France and UK have entered into agreements and treaties with Switzerland which helped them extract information. The US got information of 4,000 account holders from the UBS Bank. Other countries have also managed to get substantial information, he said.
    
"The nature of the agreement which India has entered into is so worded that the government takes shelter under it to refuse to extract information. This is also prospective, giving scope to defaulters to withdraw their money," Advani said.
    
Asked about corruption cases against former Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, Advani said, "I have spoken in detail on this issue. I do not want to repeat the same things again and again."

Right to recall may destabilise structure

Differing with Team Anna, BJP leader L K Advani on Saturday disfavoured the introduction of the Right to Recall saying it may destabilise the whole structure in a country as big as India.
   
"I am inclined to agree with the Chief Election Commissioner that in a country as vast as ours, it (Right to Recall) may have consequences which may destabilise the whole structure," he told reporters here on Saturday.
   
Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi had recently said that the Right to Recall could destabilise the country.
   
Advani also said nowhere in the world had such a measure been enforced.
   
"Therefore, it is not surprising that nowhere in the world except in one small country somewhere, has the Right to Recall been accepted," he said.
   
Team Anna has been vigorously campaigning in favour of Right to Recall which has not found favour with the Election Commission of India as well.
   
Advani, however, favoured electoral reforms in the country especially measures that could help stop use of blackmoney in elections and criminalisation of politics.
   
He said the BJP had been in the forefront in seeking electoral reforms and said his party colleague Atal Bihari Vajpayee had raised the issue of electoral reforms way back in 1970 and forced Parliament to set up a Joint Committee on the issue. According to the senior leader, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced that he would initiate steps against blackmoney within first 100 days of UPA's second regime.
    
"A few months ago the Swiss Ambassador to India said if the Indian government shows the political will the Swiss government was willing to cooperate," Advani said.
    
He said adding in majority of cases, blackmoney is the product of crime and corruption.
    
Countries like USA, Germany, France and UK have entered into agreements and treaties with Switzerland which helped them extract information. The US got information of 4,000 account holders from the UBS Bank. Other countries have also managed to get substantial information, he said.
    
"The nature of the agreement which India has entered into is so worded that the government takes shelter under it to refuse to extract information. This is also prospective, giving scope to defaulters to withdraw their money," Advani said.

(Agencies)