New Delhi: Serious corruption allegations have surfaced against Jay Amit Shah, the son of BJP president Amit Shah: that two companies belonging to Mr Shah showed a massive increase in turnover and received loans from the government and private companies after the BJP was elected in 2014. The BJP has denied all charges and said the allegations, made in a report today by The Wire, a news website, are intended to damage the reputation of its president.
- BJP says article by website The Wire is 'malicious and defamatory'
- Jay Shah says 'businesses are fully legitimate, reflected in tax records'
- Congress demands probe, accuses government of crony capitalism
But the opposition says an investigation is necessary.
"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 today.
"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," Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Saturday.
NDTV cannot independently verify the allegations.
On behalf of the BJP, senior union minister Piyush Goyal said that Jay Shah's companies are legitimate and acquired loans transparently and paid commercial rates of interest for them. Jay Shah has said he will sue The Wire for Rs 100 crore.
Its report said that despite running into losses for several years, Jay Shah's firm received a Rs 15-crore loan shortly after the BJP came to power. That in turn led to an increase in revenue of Rs 80 crore in 2015, after which the company was shut down the next year, supposedly because of losses.
The same article alleges that another Jay Shah company which dealt with financial services, received a Rs 25-crore loan from a Gujarat cooperative bank against collateral of Rs 7 crore.
That company then morphed into a renewable energy outfit, receiving a Rs 10.35 crore loan from the power ministry.
"All transactions are through banks. All the loans have been taken strictly in accordance with law on commercial rates of interest.
"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.
But the Congress alleges that the allegations against the BJP president's son are similar to the charges levelled against Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of party chief Sonia Gandhi, who is being investigated for corrupt land dealings in Haryana.
"This is an excellent example of crony capitalism," said Mr Sibal of the opposition party.
Jay Shah and the BJP are adamant that the allegations are defamatory and represent a deliberate intent to misrepresent the facts.