The Congress today accused BJP chief Amit Shah of not declaring "his liabilities" in his Rajya Sabha election affidavit despite two plots of land owned by him being mortgaged by his son Jay for obtaining credit facility -- charges strongly dismissed by the ruling party as "bogus and fake".
Giving a point-by-point rebuttal to the Congress' allegations, BJP spokesperson Sambit Partra said Shah cannot show the liability of an independent entity belonging to his son as his own liability, asserting there would be hardly any politician of his stature who would pledge his properties for his or her son's loan.
Making the allegations against Shah at a press conference, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also said the party will approach the Election Commission over the issue and inform it that details given by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief in his election affidavit last year were "wrong". Shah was elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in August 2017.
"The allegations against him (Shah) are totally bogus and fake...Even if Amit Shah has mortgaged his property, it does not mean that liability is his," Patra said, adding that the BJP chief has only mortgaged his property as a collateral security for his adult son's company.
The BJP spokesperson said, besides their own liabilities, politicians have to show liabilities of their spouse and dependent or minor children. "On the contrary, he (Shah) will be violating the law if he shows his adult son's liability in his election affidavit."
Ramesh also alleged the net worth of a "limited liability partnership firm" named Kusum Finserve, owned by Jay, was about Rs 6 crore, but it managed to obtain "credit facility" to the tune of Rs 95 crore from various cooperative and private banks. He claimed that Jay has 60 per cent stake in the firm while his wife owns about 30 per cent.
"The credit facility that Kusum Finserve has got is Rs 95 crore on a net worth of less than Rs 6 crore. He has got that facility because he has mortgaged two plots of land which were owned by his father and one commercial property in Ahmedabad," the former Union minister said. When asked the basis of his allegations against Shah, Ramesh said the party has documents to back the charges.
Coming down hard on the Congress, Patra called the Congress' allegations a desperate tactic to deflect the allegations of "scam" against its president Rahul Gandhi who, he said, is accused of evading huge amount of IT liabilities.
"The opposition party has rehashed an old and discredited story run by a Congress propagandist news website. People of the country are wise and they would be concerned whether such a leadership deserves to rule them," he said, attacking the Congress.
"That the son of a big leader like Amit Shah is pledging his father's assets as collateral is itself noteworthy," he said, adding all returns, including income tax and GST, of the company are up to date and if the filing of annual return is delayed, then it can be submitted with late filing fee.
Ramesh also claimed that the firm was given a plot of land, valued at Rs six crore, on lease in Sanand by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) in May last year and within one month of getting the plot, Kusum Finserve took a loan of Rs 17 crore from a private bank on the basis of the land. "This is a highly questionable and a dubious transaction," the Congress leader alleged.
According to law, he said, the firm should have given an annual report to the government under the Companies Act, but it is yet to submit its annual report for 2016-17 which is illegal and action should be taken against it.
He also alleged that the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited, or IREDA, a public sector undertaking managed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, last year granted Rs 10.5 crore to Kusum Finserve to set up a wind energy facility in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)