New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday alleged that Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had "forced" NABARD to issue a statement "to hide the demonetisation scam by BJP President Amit Shah" and demanded that audit reports, including those of NABARD, be made public.
Accusing the BJP government of giving "patronage to scamsters", the Congress also said that another bank fraud worth Rs 2,000 crore, by the D.S. Kulkarni (DSK) group of companies, had come to the fore in Maharashtra.
"Piyush Goyal forced NABARD to issue a press statement, which far from addressing the core issue of the allegation looked like a BJP statement embedded on NABARD's website since it only sought to defend Amit Shah," Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said at a press conference here.
He alleged that NABARD deliberately omitted its own RTI findings which reflected that a whopping Rs 3,118.51 crore worth of old notes were deposited within the first five days of demonetisaton in 11 Gujarat Co-operative Banks "closely associated" with BJP leaders.
"District Co-operative banks in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states and its allies ruled states had received a massive 64.18 per cent i.e Rs 22,270.80 crore of the entire amount deposited in these banks in just five days," Khera said.
The Congress leader's remarks came a day after the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) attributed the highest deposits at ADCB to the latter's massive size and performance, saying it had conducted 100 per cent verification which revealed that the bank had complied with all the KYC guidelines of the RBI while accepting the demonetised notes.
IANS had done a story on Thursday based on a RTI reply which said that a bank with Amit Shah as a director collected the highest amount of banned notes among DCCBs (District Cooperative Central Banks).
Khera said: "Goyal tweeted a piece of 'Yellow Journalism' directly taken out of the Sangh eco-system and tried extremely hard to somehow clutch at straws by holding on to such childish gibberish - a hallmark of RSS-BJP intellectual universe."
He said "it would have been pertinent for the Modi government to answer our simple questions and order a thorough investigation in the spike of demonetised note deposits in the district co-operative banks."
He called on Goyal to "shed this holier-than-thou attitude and as temporary Finance Minister, order an impartial enquiry into the entire gamut of transactions during Modi-made disaster of demonetisation, which is now turning out to be the biggest scam of the century".
Khera also demanded that NABARD "make public the audit report of the cooperative banks who received large amount of deposits during first five days of demonetisation".
Khera also said that RTI activists had exposed that the DSK Group had borrowed money, amounting to Rs 5,400 crore, from several financial institutions, and failed to return it.
"Kulkarni had connections to RSS and BJP. This is 12th bank loot scam under the BJP government," he said.
He also said that the DSK group duped around 8,000 homebuyers and investors in fixed deposits, majority of whom are senior citizens.