Multiple sting tapes suggest that Shah led a team of officials of various govt departments to run the illegal exchange.
Sting tapes released by the Congress party have alleged backstage dealings by a network of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, bank officials, businesses and government officials after demonetisation. On Tuesday, Congress leader Kapil Sibal called a press conference to show a series of sting video on the said illegal currency exchanges.
In one video, Rahul Ratharekar, allegedly a field assistant in the cabinet secretariat, claims that the currency exchange was conducted at a charge of 35 to 40 per cent by a special team led by BJP chief Amit Shah, comprising of officials from various government departments. Currency from various ministers and business houses were brought in planes to Hindon air base from where it was taken to the Reserve Bank of India. Ratharekar also claims that he has overseen transactions worth Rs 20,000 crore himself.
Ratharekar adds that three series of 1 lakh crore each, were printed in duplicate abroad and brought to India on air force transport planes at Hindon Air Force base.
Sibal said, “Ratharekar also explains the detailed logistics of currency exchange controlled by BJP president Amit Shah. He explains how 26 people have been recruited from various departments specifically to oversee and co-ordinate with Reserve Bank of India.”
“Rahul Retharekar also explains how Reliance Jio database was misused to show repetitive transactions in RBI. He confirms that new currency with Urjit Patel signatures was actually printed 6 months earlier,” said Sibal.A
In another set of videos that purportedly featuring an IndusInd Bank official Sanjay Channe, Channe shows boxes full of old currency as well as freshly printed Rs 2,000 notes, at a warehouse-like place in Mumbai, that have allegedly arrived from Belapur in Maharashtra.
There is also a discussion about a large warehouse in Gujarat, which does not have CCTV cameras, being used to conduct the transactions. Names of Jay Shah (Amit Shah’s son), Nitin Patel (Gujarat Deputy CM) and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Channe says that he had taken Rs 100 crore in old notes from Jay Shah and Patel and had returned the money via RTGS.
“Demonetisation is the biggest scam in Indian history… It is sad that our agencies will investigate the opposition, but not those in power,” Sibal said.
Referring to the Income-Tax Department action Opposition leaders, the Congress leader said the alacrity with which the Enforcement Directorate and I-T have acted, they should also act fast and arrest the people in the video and tell the country what has happened.
Asked if he or his party would seek any judicial intervention by moving court on this issue, the former minister said there is no time left for elections and therefore the matter cannot be taken up.
He said the government should initiate a probe into allegations made in the video. He also accused the government agencies of acting against BJP’s political rivals but not against those who are close to the ruling party or the government despite complaints against them.
(With PTI inputs)