AHMEDABAD: The Congress on Sunday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an impartial probe into the note-ban decision that the opposition party dubbed the "biggest scam ever and the largest money-laundering scheme".
"In September 2016 (before demonetisation announced on November 8, 2016), a whopping Rs 5,88,600 crore was deposited in banks, of which Rs 3 lakh crore was in fixed deposits. Whose money was it and what happened to it?" Congress Spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said at a press conference here.
"In October 2016, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar purchased eight properties. In Odisha, it purchased 18 properties, just ahead of demonetisation. Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah tell the people as to how many properties they purchased just before demonetisation? Will they disclose the details of the party's bank accounts of the months preceding demonetisation?" Surjewala said.
Modi had announced the demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
"Also, Rs 500 crore was deposited in the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank three days before demonetisation. Amit Shah is a Director of this bank. Was he questioned by the Income Tax Department or the Enforcement Directorate regarding this money?" he said.
The Congress leader said that after demonetisation, Rs 10.1 crore was seized from a Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Development Bank van, in which BJP leader and Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde has a stake.
"It is public knowledge that the cooperative banks were not given any new currency. Then how come this cooperative bank got new currency of Rs 10 crore? Whose money was it? Is there any probe into this case?" Surjewala said.
He said at a time when the common people were struggling in bank queues to get a few lakh of rupees in new currency for their daughters' weddings, mining baron G. Janardan Reddy splurged Rs 500 crore on his daughter's wedding.
"The BJP top brass made a beeline to this function as Reddy is considered very dear to Prime Minister Modi. Why was no investigation launched against Reddy as to where from he got so much money in new currency, when notes were being rationed to the common people?" Surjewala said.
"We challenge the Prime Minister to order an impartial probe into all these cases, and many more such cases, and bring out the facts before the people," he added.
The Congress leader called All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi as the "B-team of BJP" and said people should not pay attention to the polarising antics of such people.