After his recent slapdown of the government's handling of the economy, former union minister Yashwant Sinha today said that his party has "lost the moral high ground" due to a corruption scandal involving the son of its chief Amit Shah.

Yashwant Sinha, 79, said that the BJP appears guilty of many lapses: producing senior ministers to defend Mr Shah's son, entrepreneur Jay Shah, and farming out a top government lawyer, Tushar Mehta, to represent Jay Shah in court.

Jay Shah has suedThe Wire, a news website, for 100 crores for defamation for reporting his firm's revenues escalated by 16,000 times after the BJP came to power.  The report also questioned allegedly unsecured loans given to Jay Shah's firms, including from a state-run firm that reports to the Power Ministry.

The way the loan  was given to Jai Shah by the Power Ministry and the way (minister) Piyush Goyal defended him, it gives the impression that there's something wrong," said Mr Sinha, whose son, Jayant Sinha, is a minister in the union government.  

"Even Additional Solicitor General (Tushar Mehta) representing a private individual in court is something that never happened before," Mr Sinha, a former finance minister, said in Patna. Mr Mehta said he sought and obtained the clearance of the Law Ministry to advise Jay Shah.

"The government should order an inquiry because too many government departments are involved," said Mr Sinha, backing what the opposition has demanded. "The BJP has lost the high moral ground of zero tolerance on corruption," he added.

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