The Congress alleged on Friday that there is a nexus between the Centre and its "corporate friends", and questioned why action has not been taken against Dish TV promoters Essel Group, which defaulted on repayment of loans to the Yes Bank.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera asked the Centre why it continues to support Dish TV promoter Subhash Chandra, even when he has a minority stake of less than 10 per cent in the company, and why an administrator has not been appointed for the firm, as has been done in many similar cases.
He alleged that the Centre has not acted against Mr Chandra, a BJP-supported Rajya Sabha MP, and that rules were bent and laws ignored in the case "to protect the vested interests" of the "favourite businessmen" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
There was no immediate comment on the allegations either from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Essel Group.
"The brazen nexus between the Modi government and a few of the prime minister's corporate friends is now known not just to the country, but to the entire world. Laws are ignored, misused, not used, twisted, turned, made flexible to help the vested interests of the favourite businessmen and friends of the prime minister," Mr Khera told reporters here.
In Dish TV's case, he alleged that Yes Bank, which is a private bank, incurred huge losses in 2020 for loans amounting to Rs 6,789 crore given to Mr Chandra's Essel Group, which were outstanding when it was placed under a moratorium.
The SBI Group and other financial institutions infused Rs 11,760 crore to keep the bank afloat and revive it and today, the Yes Bank is classified as an associate bank of the State Bank of India (SBI) and its board of directors includes representatives of the SBI, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other financial institutions, the Congress leader said.
He cited an FIR lodged against the Yes Bank on the basis of a complaint from Mr Chandra in Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, alleging that the bank "pressured" his company to take loans and is "wrongfully" invoking the pledged shares of Dish TV.
Following the FIR, Mr Khera said the Uttar Pradesh police stopped the Yes Bank management from invoking the pledged shares of Dish TV.
The bank owns 25.63 per cent of the shares of Dish TV, which it took over after the loans turned stressed assets, he said, adding that the promoter share in the company stands at 5.93 per cent.
Yes Bank wrote to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the finance minister and the corporate affairs minister in November, drawing their attention to this gross illegality, but no action has been initiated, Mr Khera said.
The bank has also written to the SEBI and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to suspend the board of directors of Dish TV, appoint an administrator to manage the affairs of the company and conduct forensic investigations into its accounts, he added.
"Why is the government not taking any step to help the SBI-affiliated Yes Bank recover money from this BJP-supported MP, Subhash Chandra, who was the chairman of the Ekal Vidyalaya of the RSS at one point? "Why has the Ministry of Corporate Affairs not taken up this issue, despite explicit complaints from the Yes Bank and a host of other minority shareholders? Why has there been no ED or SFIO investigation into the matter?" the Congress leader asked.
"Why has there been no enquiry into the role of the Uttar Pradesh police? This is unprecedented. Any businessman can walk up, file a case against a creditor with whom he has pledged his own shares and then say the shares have been stolen by the creditor. This is a bizarre story. There cannot be special privileges for a BJP-supported MP," he said while demanding the appointment of an administrator in the matter, like in the case of Satyam and IL&FS.
"Why can't an administrator be appointed for Dish TV?" Mr Khera asked.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)