Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday accused former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi of having led a government that “attacked the very core of the Indian banking system” during her party’s rule.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader cited a note by former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, who has listed the over-enthusiasm of banks between 2006 and 2008 as one of the reasons for the bad loans crisis. A Congress-led government was in power during the period.

Reacting to the Delhi High Court’s dismissal of pleas in connection with the National Herald case, Irani asked why Congress President Rahul Gandhi was “quick to hug the prime minister but would run a mile when it comes to an income tax officer”. The High Court had on Monday rejected pleas filed by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi against the Income Tax Department’s decision to reopen their tax assessment for 2011-’12.

The court’s decision was evidence of “deep-seated corruption in the hallowed halls of Congress”, Irani said. The court’s decision and Rajan’s note were examples of the “corruption saga of Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra”, Irani said.