It’s Shah’s business model, says Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit Shah during the latter’s son Jay’s wedding reception in New Delhi on February 15, 2015.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Attacking BJP president Amit Shah, the Congress on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to investigate the “Shah model of business” following a report published in The Wire, a news website, that claimed that the turnover of a company owned by the BJP chief’s son Jay Shah grew 16,000 times in one year.

Based on the filings with the Registrar of Companies (ROC), The Wire claimed Temple Enterprise Private Ltd. — the company owned by Mr. Jay Shah — saw an increase in its turnover from ₹50,000 in 2014-15 to ₹80 crore in 2015-16.

The website claimed that another company, Kusum Finserv, where Mr. Jay Shah is a partner, got a loan of ₹25 crore from the Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank against a collateral security of ₹7 crore only.

The BJP called the report “derogatory, defamatory, hollow and malicious.” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who briefed the media, said Mr. Jay Shah, would be filing a ₹100-crore criminal defamation case against The Wire and its Editor.

“No favour. No impropriety. Only malicious imputations,” Amit Malviya, head of the BJP’s information technology cell, said in a series of tweets. “Is Jay Shah not allowed to take loan on market rates of interest from a registered NBFC? Where is the favour/impropriety?”

‘Beneficiary of note ban’

In a tweet, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “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.”

Later the BJP distributed a statement of Mr. Jay Shah which said all his businesses were lawful and done through banking channels.

Earlier, at a press briefing, senior lawyer and Congress MP Kapil Sibal asked: “How can a company with no stock, no inventory, no assets have a turnover of 80 crores? Isn’t it surprising?”

Mr. Sibal also said, “We would like to ask the Prime Minister to explain the Shah model of business. What would he say now to crony capitalism? Would he ask for an investigation by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate as they normally do in the case of people from the Opposition?”

When pointed out that a 16,000-times jump in turnover of Mr. Jay Shah’s company doesn’t show any wrongdoing, Mr. Sibal countered by saying,“Many private persons who didn’t occupy any position were targeted when we were in power.”

The former Union Law Minister, without naming Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, referred to the BJP’s stand. “They were also targeted and asked why should they be given lands, why should they get loans? You remember? So the same thing is applicable here,” said Mr. Sibal.