New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of harbouring in his cabinet a "corrupt" minister for 12 years when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Referring to a media report that reveals how Saurabh Patel's family invested in firms dealing in gas and petrochemicals during his 14-year tenure as the state Energy Minister, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Modi should come clear on this.
"It has come to light how Saurabh Patel and his family-owned companies invested in a Bahamas-based company dealing in energy and petro chemicals sector," Singhvi said.
"Out of his 14 years tenure, he worked for 12 years as minister under the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi," he added.
A four-time MLA on BJP ticket, Patel was the Energy and Petrochemicals Minister for 14 years till he was dropped from the cabinet on 7 August this year by new Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Singhvi said the Patels through these companies also took oil blocks from state enterprise Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC).
"Is it just conflict of interest? I think conflict of interest is a light word. This is corruption. The nation and Parliament seek answer from now Prime Minister and the then Gujarat Chief Minister," he said.
The Congress spokesperson alleged Athat Patel was given such an important and big ministry by Modi at the behest of "the biggest and most influential industrial family of this country".
"This is not the case of daal mein kaala'. Here the entire daal is spoiled. There is graft all around. The Prime Minister is running away on demonetization. Will he also run away on this?" Singhvi asked.