New Delhi: The Congress Monday hit back at Arun Jaitley for attacking its chief Rahul Gandhi over the IL&FS issue, alleging that the finance minister was desperate to "cover up government's thievery" in the case.
In a tweet, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the minister was trying to save the government in the IL&FS issue as he had done other cases.
"One more Shirk Responsibility, Sell Family Silver, Save Cronies' excuse by FM Jaitley, like in case of 4Ms—Mallya, Modi junior 1 and 2, Mehul Bhai.
"An MP's a letter is not the law of land for FM to follow. Proves the desperation on FM's part to cover up Government's thievery," he said on Twitter with regard to the IL&FS issue.
Gandhi has also hit out at the government over the issue and called it a "scam".
He attacked Narendra Modi over the financial support of LIC to debt-ridden IL&FS and asked whether the prime minister "loves financial scams".
On Sunday, he said the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) was the country's symbol of trust and the common people have saved every rupee to buy its policies.
"Modi ji, your favourite private company IL&FS is about to turn bankrupt. You are trying to save it by putting the money of LIC. Why?" he asked in a tweet in Hindi.
"...Why are you using LIC money to save fraudsters. For you, hope IL&FS does not mean I love financial scams," Gandhi had said.
In another tweet in Hindi, Gandhi alleged that in 2007, Modi as Gujarat chief minister gave the Rs 70,000 crore 'Gift City' project to IL&FS in which nothing has happened till now and alleged that a fraud had come to light.
In comparison, Gandhi alleged that in 2018, Prime Minister Modi is trying to give a bailout of Rs 91,000 crore to debt-ridden Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services (IL&FS) through public money in the LIC and the State Bank of India.
"Chowkidar ki dari mein tinka (the watchman is guilty conscious)," he had said.
The Congress leader's rebuttal to Jaitley came after the finance minister attacked the opposition party for spreading "disinformation" about the government's move in relation to Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS).
"The Congress Party, for the last few days, has been busy spreading disinformation about the Government's possible moves in relation to the private sector company IL&FS," Jaitley had said earlier in the day.
The finance minister also said only "the perverted Rahul Gandhi school of thinking" can call investment by financial institutions in IL&FS a "scam" and suggested that the Congress president take some "words of wisdom" from a senior party colleague.
He also termed the Congress a "national saboteur" trying to spread disinformation about the developments in debt-ridden IL&FS.
Jaitley in a Facebook post titled 'Lessons for Rahul Gandhi from his partyman' said it must be remembered that the days of crony capitalism are over and the NDA government deals with challenges objectively and professionally.
The minister wanted to know whether investment by financial institutions in a company is a scam as has been spread by Gandhi and his coterie.
"Was it a scam in 1987 when the IL&FS was promoted with the Central Bank of India having 50.5 per cent shares and the UTI having 30.5 per cent shares? Was it a scam in 2005 when LIC acquired 15 per cent stake in IL&FS and in March, 2006 when it acquired another 11.10 per cent stake in the IL&FS?
"In fact, LIC further bought 19.34 lakh shares in IL&FS in 2010. Do I start calling all these investments today 'a scam' as per 'the perverted Rahul Gandhi school of thinking?' From where has he invented a proposal of Rs 91,000 crores investment likely to take place by LIC and SBI in the IL&FS?" Jaitley quipped.
He asked Gandhi to read a letter written by senior Congress leader K V Thomas on September 20, 2018, who suggested to the government to "support IL&FS" as the company has shown notable achievements in the past in the area of infrastructure development. He also tagged Thomas' letter to him to bail, out ILFS.