PATNA -- In a severe attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ram Jethmalani, former Law Minister in the Vajpayee government, today accused him of "cheating" the people for which he should be "punished".
"Modi has cheated the people. He must suffer a defeat (in the Bihar polls). He must be punished," he said, adding, "If I had a vote, I would today vote for Nitish Kumar because I want Modi to suffer a defeat".
"Bihar should be the starting point...Defeat them (BJP).. They have made Ram Jethmalani a fool but the people will not be fooled in Bihar," Jethmalani, an Independent Rajya Sabha MP, told reporters here.
Jethmalani was expelled from BJP in 2013 for six years for having publicly rebelled against then party president Nitin Gadkari.
"Today I have come here to do 'penance' for what I did by promoting Narendra Modi as the leader of the country (before the Lok Sabha polls). I thought that God has sent him as his 'Aulia' (representative) for India's salvation...How I became the victim of fraud," said the veteran lawyer who was here to fight for the cause of army personnel's demand for "One Rank One Pension".
Jethmalani said both the UPA and Modi-led government at the Centre did nothing to bring black money from foreign tax havens and held both P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley responsible for the failure to disclose the names of persons holding the black money.
The senior lawyer said German government had the names of 1,400 people who have stashed their money in tax havens abroad and the German government was ready to part with the information with the Indian government free of cost but with a rider that there should be a written request from the government.
"I wrote a two-line letter to BJP leaders and none of them signed the letter," he said, adding that as per a BJP task force committee, there are USD 1,500 billion, which is equivalent to Rs 90 lakh crore lying in tax havens.
Stating that the government has not been able to bring back a single dollar in the country, Jethmalani said had the government been successful in bringing the black money, it would not have been facing financial problem in acceding to the demands of ex-servicemen on 'OROP'.