Congress targets BJP chief Amit Shah over Gujarat co-operative bank deposits

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NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday cited an RTI reply dated May 7, 2018 to term demonetisation as a big scam and charge that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, whose directors include BJP president Amit Shah, received the highest amount of old demonetized notes, worth Rs 745.58 crore, in just five days after the note ban was announced on November 8, 2016.

The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank is the only one of the 370 district cooperative banks across the country to receive such a large sum of demonetised notes in five days.

“ADCB chairman Ajay Patel is a prominent BJP leader, a close associate of Amit Shah,” said Congress communications chief Randeep Surjewala, adding, “five days after demonetisation, all cooperative banks were banned from accepting demonetised notes with the pretence of preventing money laundering through them.”

According to Surjewala, in 11 district cooperative banks in Gujarat headed by BJP leaders, including Ahmedabad DCB and Rajkot DCB, Rs 3,118.51 crore worth of old notes were deposited within five days of demonetisation.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also took a dig at Shah.

The Congress slammed PM Narendra Modi, who “choreographed demonetisation, leaving out window for black money hoarders to benefit”, and urged Shah to come out with details of properties purchased by his party before the note ban.

“In the run-up to decision of demonetisation, BJP and RSS purchased properties running into hundreds of crores across the country. Congress had released details of eight properties valuing Rs 3.41 crore in Bihar and 18 properties in Odisha. Actual market value of these properties is much higher. Despite this, Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah have refused to make public the details of properties purchased by BJP/RSS in the last 19 months,” said Surjewala.

The BJP dismissed it as yet another attempt to sensationalise the issue with misguided allegations against its chief. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, too, came out with a statement denying any irregularities.

NABARD said it conducted 100% verification in Ahmedabad DCCB, which revealed that the bank had complied with all the KYC guidelines of the RBI while accepting the demonetised notes.

“Of the total 16 lakh accounts with DCCB, deposits/ exchanges were made only by 1.60 lakh customers…. Of the total accounts with the bank, it was only in 0.09% accounts where above ~2.5 lakh were deposited. The average deposit amount in Ahmedabad DCCB was ~46,795 which was lower than average per depositor in 18 DCCBs of Gujarat,” it said in a statement issued in Mumbai.

Union minister Piyush Goyal shared the NABARD statement on twitter and wrote, “Congress is once again trying to sensationalise the issue with misguided allegations against Amit Shah, which clearly shows desperation to deflect public attention from its own misdemeanours. Rightly exposed by NABARD.”

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