Congress releases videos of 'govt officials' claiming they could exchange old notes after demonetisation
Kapil Sibal said one of the objectives was to discourage the use of cash and check the currency in circulation to reduce flow of black money, but now cash is being used in a 'big way'.
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday released three video clips purportedly showing "government officials" who claimed they could get old notes exchanged months after demonetisation, and alleged that it was done at the behest of the BJP.
At a press conference, Congress leader Kapil Sibal showed the three videos apparently from 2017 shot by an investigative journalist.
There was no authentication of the clips by the party or any other agency. No immediate reaction was available from the BJP. The first video was shot in a car in Delhi on March 27, 2017.
According to Sibal, a serving sub-inspector alleged in the clip that Piyush Goyal, who was BJP's treasurer, regularly instructed security personnel posted at BJP Headquarters to let in specific vehicles without any checks.
He also introduced the journalist to a couple of retired IAS officers who agreed to get the currency exchanged, Sibal alleged.
The Congress leader claimed the second video was shot in Delhi on March 27, 2017 and the same official discussed the exchange of notes with a face value of Rs 300 crore.
Sibal claimed that in the third video from April 1, 2017, a government official said the new currency notes were printed in Moscow.
Extra notes were printed, more than the value of demonetised currency, the Congress leader said.
Sibal said, if elected, the Congress would carry out an investigation into the matter. He termed demonetisation an "ill thought" decision. "Demonetisation apparently was the biggest political scam India has ever seen. The victims were the hapless 1.25 billion people," Sibal said.
"It benefited a few and the stated objective of eradicating unaccounted cash from the economy failed miserably. Demonetisation was a godsend for 'dalals' who earned a fat commission in exchange of old currency. Black money is back in the system," he added.
Sibal said one of the objectives was to discourage the use of cash and check the currency in circulation to reduce flow of black money, but now cash is being used in a "big way".
"As per RBI data, currency with the public in 2018 reached a record high of over Rs 18.5 lakh crore, more than double of Rs 7.8 lakh crore (in 2014). The total currency in circulation also increased exponentially -- from Rs 17.97 lakh crore in November, 2016 to Rs 21.42 lakh crore in March, 2019," he said.
"Claims that demonetisation will eliminate both fake notes and deal a fatal blow to terrorism have turned out to be hollow. The people who had black money quietly converted their currency through dubious and fraudulent means," he said.
Sibal said Modi has failed to prosecute the corrupt.
"Demonetisation allowed black money to be generated and stashed abroad which is reflected by the latest data released by Zurich based Swiss National Bank (SNB), where money deposited by Indians rose over 50 per cent to 1.01 billion swiss francs (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, a year after notes ban," he claimed.