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Above: A grab of the website of People’s democracy

Contrary to the BJP’s claim of being anti-black money, the CPM has accused the saffron party of shielding corruption and allowing the rich to “launder black money”. The CPI(M), in its journal People’s Democracy, made several other allegations against the BJP and Prime Minster Narendra Modi.

It criticised Modi for raising the upper limit for buying jewellery without submitting the PAN details to Rs 2 lakh per transaction.  It was the BJP government which had earlier amended the Prevention of Money Laundering Act making Pan and Aadhaar mandatory for purchasing jewellery above Rs 50,000.

The purpose of this amendment was to curb the purchase of gold and jewellery for conversion of black money.

By diluting this measure, the government has undermined its own claim to fight black money by not insisting on registering jewellery purchases up to Rs 2 lakh.

Repeated transactions of jewellery purchases below Rs 2 lakh will facilitate conversion of black money and money laundering, the editorial said.

The CPI (M) criticised the Rajasthan BJP’s ordinance which shields public servants, judges and magistrates from any allegations of corruption and the gag it is trying to put on media so that the corruption goes unexposed.

The editorial went on to mention the media gagging in the case of BJP President Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah. The Modi government has permitted the additional solicitor general to appear on behalf of Shah in court. Far from investigating the matter, the Modi government seems bent upon assisting Amit Shah’s son to escape any scrutiny for his business dealings.

Given this blatant protection of those facing allegations of corruption, it is not surprising that the BJP government has not taken any step to constitute the Lokpal as per the law, even three-and-a-half-years after it came to power, the editorial said.

—India Legal Bureau

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