PM, Gujarat minister linked to firm duping banks of Rs 2,654 cr: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday alleged that the directors of a Gujarat-based company, DPIL, which duped 11 of Rs 2,654.4 crore, have links with a state Minister and are close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Murky dealings, hidden under cultural fests and crony businesses of a Gujarat-based company duping 11 banks to the tune of Rs 2,654.4 crore, now stands exposed.

“Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL) and its directors — Suresh Narain Bhatnagar and sons Amit Bhatnagar and Sumit Bhatnagar — have active links with Gujarat’s Energy Minister Saurabh Patel,” said Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera.

Khera said: “Numerous photographs in social media suggest that one of the fraudsters — Amit Bhatnagar — is very close to PM Narendra Modi, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and even present Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.”

“Fifty-one days, 13 bank loot scams and counting. Even the President (Ram Nath Kovind) is now talking about it, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not uttered a word on this saga of corruption, cheating and connivance of his people, unravelling on daily basis,” he added.

The party said that “even as the banking sector is hurt by successive jolts by the banking scams, Modi and his party do not let the Parliament function for 25 days in a row”.

“Is it because the PM is either trying to brazen it out or because he has utter disregard for institutions and constitutional values? Or is it because some of his ‘own people’ are involved?” Khera said.

The party alleged that DPIL had fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks, Axis Bank being the lead bank, by submitting false stock statements and extensively utilising cash credit limits for obtaining large number of Letters of Credit (LCs).

According to the Congress, Bhatnagar is believed to have been one of the chief financers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Vadodara.

“BJP government in the state showers public money on Amit Bhatnagar’s cultural fest in Vadodara – ‘VAD FEST’. According to Bhatnagar’s own admission, Rs 26 crore were spent on the first VAD FEST in 2016 and a large proportion of it come from the BJP-ruled state government,” said Khera.

“Bhatnagar is no stranger to financial frauds. In March 2015, he was arrested and released on bail by the Central Excise for alleged fraudulent misuse of CenVAT credit and evading excise duty worth Rs 40 crore.

“In July 2016, another complaint against DPIL was filed for allegedly selling off shares owned by a woman,” he added.

The party also sought to know what was the plan of the Modi government to recover the humongous amounts of public money from their businessmen friends.