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New notes 'injected' long before Modi announced DeMo: Cong

New Delhi: On the day when the campaigning for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections came to an end, senior Congress leader and former union minister Kapil Sibal came out with explosive video clips on alleged laundering of the demonetised currency notes in 2017. Training guns at the Union Government, the Congress leader, after showing the video clips claimed that the exchange of yet-to-be demonetised high currency notes were started much before the announcement of the historic decision by PM Modi on November 8, 2016.

"In the sting operation, Rahul Ratharekar, a field assistant at Cabinet Secretariat, claimed that the new currency notes were printed in Moscow bearing the signature of Urjit Patel, who was not even declared RBI Governor," Sibal said, adding that the official has also stated that extra notes had been printed, more than the value of the demonetised currency.

"The most startling revelation by Ratharekar was when he mentions that today (April 1, 2017) he has completed exactly one year doing the exchange work through the Belapur Chest in Mumbai and completed transactions worth Rs 2 lakh crore during the period," the Congress leader said citing the transcript of the video clips.

Terming demonetisation the biggest political scam India has ever seen, the Congress leader said that the currency ban move has hit the common man. The victims of demonetisation were hapless 1.25 billion 'aamjanta', Sibal alleged.

The Congress leader further claimed that in the second video, a meeting had taken place at the residential office of BJP leader Shyam Jaju, where Sanjay Padule (a serving sub inspector, Delhi Police) had introduced Jaju to an undercover journalist, who discussed his Smart City projects with Jaju.

The undercover scribe had also requested Jaju to exchange old currency notes worth of Rs 300 crore, Sibal claimed stating that Padule, who is now posted as a PSO of a Supreme Court judge, was deployed at the BJP head office as security personnel. Sibal also maintained that Jaju had not said anything during the conversation.

Taking on the Centre, the Congress leader said, "Modi has failed to prosecute the corrupt. This has been reflected in BJP's latest publicity campaign. Modi's singular achievement is that those charged with serious offences and others who were in jail are roaming freely."

"Demonetisation was an ill-thought decision. It benefited a few. The stated objective of eradicating unaccounted cash from the economy has failed miserably. The demonetisation was a godsend for 'dalals' who earned a fat commission for the exchange of old currency and black money is back in the system," alleged Sibal.

Though the prime objective of demonetisation was to discourage the use of cash and check the currency in circulation to reduce the flow of black money, cash is back and in a big way, Sibal said.

"As per RBI data, currency with the public in 2018 has reached a record high of over Rs 18.5 lakh crore, more than double of Rs 7.8 lakh crore, post demonetisation. The total currency in circulation has also increased exponentially from Rs 17.97 lakh crore in November 2016 to Rs 21.42 lakh crore in March 2019," he said. He, however, claimed that the Congress, if elected to power, will order an investigation into the matter, even alleging that all those featured in the video clips were "untraceable" at present.

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