New Delhi, Feb 18: The Communist Party of India today blamed the Prime Minister's Office for diamond merchant Nirav Modi fleeing the country and hit out at Narendra Modi for keeping mum on the Rs 11,400-crore Punjab National Bank scam.
The party's general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said the PM's silence on such a "big scandal is surprising".
"On every issue, the prime minister reacts, tweets and comments. But when such a serious incident takes place, why doesn't he speak or react? He must reply," Reddy told reporters.
He claimed that in 2016, an individual named Hari Prasad had complained to the PMO about the matter and had requested Nirav Modi's arrest.
"But no action was taken and Nirav Modi and his family members fled the country in January this year," he said.
About Nirav Modi being part of an Indian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Reddy asked, "Nirav Modi met and got himself photographed with the PM. How did it happen? How could Nirav Modi enter? Who helped him?"
"We squarely hold the PMO responsible for Nirav Modi fleeing the country. We demand that the PM respond. The CPI demands that Nirav Modi be arrested and be brought back to India immediately," he said.
Reddy said liquor baron Vijay Mallya and cricket administrator Lalit Modi left the country under similar circumstances and that no one knew if the government was serious about bringing them back to face justice.
He said the BJP claimed to be a party that was "above corruption" but it too faced allegations like the one against the son of the party's national president and was refusing a transparent inquiry into these allegations.