New Delhi: In a fresh attack, the Congress today accused the NDA Government of complicity in not acting on complaints against PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi filed by people who have been duped in Gujarat and elsewhere by the duo, and alleged that they were provided "protection at the highest level".
Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that Nirav Modi and Mr Choksi have not only siphoned off crores of rupees from India's banks, but have also duped India's middle class and common people of Rs 5,000 crore or more, by floating various schemes.
He said a new "'Jan Dhan Loot Yojna has unravelled - where Gitanjali Gems promoters floated jewellery investment schemes like Shagun, 'Swarna Mangal Labh' (SML) and 'Swarna Mangal Kalash' (SMK) taking an estimated Rs 5,000 crore of public money".
"A complicit Modi Government has even refused to publicly acknowledge this loot and duping of common man's money i.e. 'Jan Dhan Loot'," he told reporters.
Mr Gohil said as per the schemes, customers were lured with benefits of bonus and one free instalment at redemption and a large number of people were duped as payments were not paid to them.
He said in Gujarat's Bhavnagar alone there are hundreds of complaints pending with the state police which did not act on them. He said people have given affidavits in September 2015 and made public such documents.
Like in the case of banks, he said, the common man was duped by way of these schemes as neither the instalment paid nor jewellery given or amount returned.
"Shockingly, instead of registering an FIR and arresting Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and others, Bhavnagar Police kept the matter pending and finally referred it by recording that it should be investigated by CID Crime, Gandhinagar," he said.
He said the most interesting fact is that although complaints were given on October 10, 2017, Gujarat Police waited up to January 25, 2018 by when Nirav Modi and Mr Choksi had fled the country along with their families.
"It is indeed surprising that people were being defrauded with impunity and the entire government machinery of BJP remained a mute spectator. Complicity and protection at the highest level is, thus, writ large," he alleged, adding that there are hundreds of more such complaints across the country.
"Why is the BJP mum on the connections of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi to the BJP leadership?," he asked.
The Congress spokesperson also asked whether Mehul Choksi was invited to a small gathering when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Gold Monetisation Scheme in 2015?
"Did Prime Minister not refer to Mehul Choksi with great affection in his speech, specially addressing him as 'hamaare Mehul bhai?'," he asked.
"Why is Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, fighting shy of admitting his connection to Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi?," Mr Gohil questioned, while putting another poser -- "whether the sister-in-law of BJP Spokesperson in Maharashtra Shaina NC was Head of Sales with Nirav Modi's companies".
Mr Gohil charged that Mehul Choksi and Gitanjali Group showcased creation by Shaina NC in August 2015 and the show was presided over by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's wife Amruta Fadnavis and Anar Patel, daughter of the then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel. They gave big advertisements in newspapers to exhibit their clout, he alleged
The Congress leader also demanded that names of all such cheated people be made public. He said the government should answer why FIRs and action were not initiated against those behind such duping.
Mr Gohil also demanded that the prime minister should answer whether "Vibrant Gujarat is a platform for committing frauds". He said that had Nirav Modi and Choksi been arrested by the police, they would not have fled the country with public money.