New Delhi: A total chaos was witnessed yesterday among the political spectrum after a investigative report by The Wire on how turnover of a company owned by BJP President Amit Shah’s son increased several times over in a year.
News website The Wire claimed that Jay Shah company’s turn over jumped from just Rs 50,000 to over Rs 80 crores in a single year. Temple Enterprise was incorporated in 2004 with Jay Shah and Jitendra Shah listed as its directors. BJP president Amit Shah’s wife, Sonal Shah, also has a stake in the company. In 2013-14, Temple Enterprise did not own any fixed assets and had no inventories or stock.
In a statement that the BJP released in yesterday evening, Jay Shah said he would be filing civil and criminal defamation cases against the news website’s owners, editor and the author of the article in Ahmedabad, where he runs his business, and sue them for Rs 100 crore in damages.
In his defence Jay Shah said he had taken loans either from NBFCs or non-funded credit facilities from a co-operative bank on purely commercial terms in accordance with the law. “I have repaid the loans by cheques on commercial rate of interest and within the time stipulated. I have mortgaged my family property with the cooperative bank to get the credit facilities.”
A detailed report of company’s business finances and turnover was sent by Jay Shah’s lawyer to The Wire, you can read here.
During UPA-II, for example, the Congress party spent the better part of three years confronting questions about how party president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, had managed to grow his real estate businesses on the basis of loans, including unsecured advances by real estate giant DLF. Indeed the sharpest attacks on Vadra’s affairs were from the BJP.
BJP has denied all the serious allegations which were raised by the opposition parties, after the report by The Wire, the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP on its part has defended its party president’s son by terming the story as “absolutely false, baseless, malicious, derogatory, defamatory, and hollow article with absolutely no substance whatsoever.”
Rahul Gandhi attacked BJP by alleging Shahs were the beneficiaries from demonetisation, “We finally found the only beneficiary of Demonetisation. It’s not the RBI, the poor or the farmers. It’s the Shah-in-Shah of Demo. Jai Amit” he tweeted.
We finally found the only beneficiary of Demonetisation. It's not the RBI, the poor or the farmers. It's the Shah-in-Shah of Demo. Jai Amit https://t.co/2zHlojgR2c
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 8, 2017
“Anyone with the name Jay, Amit or Shah cannot be arrested. Is the PM open and honest enough to ask the CBI to investigate?” asked Congress leader Kapil Sibal asked in the Press conference yesterday.
“All transactions were entirely legal. Jay has paid back loans and all transactions were through the bank… Rs 80 crore is not a large turnover in commodity business,” said Piyush Goyal in defence of Jay Shah. Jay Shah and the BJP are adamant that the allegations are defamatory and represent a deliberate intent to misrepresent the facts.
“But the company stopped business activities in October 2016. And the reason stated was that the company was incurring losses. The losses were said to be 1.4 crore. So first it was incurring losses, then the turnover became Rs 80 crore and then again it started incurring losses and company stopped business… This is indeed strange,” Sibal asked during his press conference.
The Wire reports highlighted a Rs 25 crore loan taken by Kusum Finserve from Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank, and asked how this loan was raised against collaterals valued at Rs 7 crore. Shah’s lawyer responded, according to the report, that “the bank did not give the firm a loan but a non fund based working capital facility in the form of a Letter of Credit up to Rs 25 crore. This facility is availed from time to time”.
With PTI inputs