Shillong(Meghalaya)[India], Feb.15 (ANI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hit out at the Congress for cornering Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government over the PNB fraud case and said that 1.77 billion dollars scam happened during the UPA regime.

Speaking to media in Shillong, Sitharaman said, “This happened in their tenure. The allegations are coming out now. This is coming out as it is their (UPA’s) gift. We will definitely take action. This has not happened in (20)14.”

A political blame game broke out on Thursday after the Punjab National Bank detected a 1.77 billion dollars scam in which businessman Nirav Modi acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from one of its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

PNB has suspended 10 officers in this scam and referred the matter to CBI for investigation.

The scam was started in 2011 and was detected in the third week of January this year, after which the PNB officials reported it to the concerned agencies.

Earlier today, while addressing a press conference, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “On 26 July 2016, Prime Minister was handed with all papers regarding Nirav Modi and one of his relative. It was said that complaint had 42 FIRs. The Prime Minister Office acknowledged the complaint, they also sent registrar of companies to take some action. But in the end, the government couldn’t do anything. Modi ji, take action, otherwise, Chote Modi (Nirav Modi) will run away.”

“How can Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi dupe the entire banking system through forged Letters of Understanding under the nose of the Modi government? Who is responsible for biggest bank loot scam?” he asked.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also trained guns at Modi government and tweeted a group photograph showing Nirav Modi along with Prime Minister Modi at Davos.

“If this person had fled India before the FIR on Jan 31, then he is here, photographed at Davos with PM, a week before the FIR, after having escaped from India? Modi govt must clarify,” he asked.(ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.