NEW DELHI -- In a strong show of support for Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Finance Minister will come through "with flying colours" against charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in the same way L K Advani did in the Hawala case.
Batting for Jaitley, accused by Congress and AAP of financial irregularities in Delhi cricket body when he headed it, Modi hit out at Congress at BJP's parliamentary party meeting for levelling "wrong and manufactured" allegations to "defame" the government.
At the parliamentary party, no reference was made to similar charges made by BJP MP Kirti Azad, who was not present in the meeting today.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu quoted Modi as having said that BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje had similarly faced such "wrong" charges from Congress earlier.
"The Prime Minister gave the example of L K Advani. The government at that time tried to implicate him in the Hawala case. Advani came through with flying colours and the strategy of Congress boomeranged. Same thing is going to happen regarding allegations against Jaitley... Congress is inventing issue to defame the government," Naidu said.
Advani and a number of other leaders were investigated by CBI during the Congress government headed by P V Narasimha Rao.
Advani had resigned from Lok Sabha in 1996 after allegations were levelled against him in the hawala case. The case, however, later collapsed due to lack of evidence.
BJP has rallied around Jaitley as Congress and AAP have tried to corner him over the issue and demanded his resignation. Party chief Amit Shah issued a strong statement in his support yesterday.
A number of Union Ministers had also joined Jaitley, a key party strategist, in a court where he had filed defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders.
Aiming to take the battle to the opposition, BJP MPs of the Lok Sabha will be spending one night in each assembly constituency in their seat to spread awareness about the "good work" being done by the Modi government and the opposition's campaign to "defame" it. This will be done in January, Naidu said.
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