Gift BJP Rs 20 cr, get 'return gift' worth Rs 31K cr: Congress on fraud by DHFL

Says it’s another huge scam of ‘na khaunga na khaane dunga’ infamy Modi govt

New Delhi: Attacking government over alleged 'biggest banking scam' in the country's history, the Congress on Wednesday said that the scam that has come to the light is another huge scam of the 'na khaunga na khaane dunga' infamy Modi government.

"The alleged scam raises serious questions about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment towards 'zero tolerance' to corruption. This alleged fraud reveals BJP's full acceptance of 'corruption' as Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL), a private non-banking financial company, has routed Rs 31,000 crore of public funds through dozens of 'shell companies', for personal gains," said Priyanka Chaturvedi, the Congress spokesperson.

The Congress leader further alleged that the DHF, which has a mind-boggling banking exposure of over Rs 97,000 crore to 32 Indian public and private banks as per financial statements of the fiscal year 2017-18, has given unsecured loans worth crores to various shell companies linked to the promoters of DHFL.

Notably, a website Cobrapost on Tuesday had claimed that its team of investigative journalists had unearthed a "banking scam". While addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the portal had accused the primary promoters of DHFL of siphoning off more than Rs 31,000 crore of public money through secured and unsecured loans and advances to shell companies, round tripping, tax avoidance and insider trading.

"Money has also been routed through these dubious companies and parked outside India, to acquire assets," the website had said in a press release.

The DHFL rejected the allegations as "mischievous misadventure" done with malafide intent and said it had met all its obligations to the lenders and paid them back over Rs 17,000 crore in the last three months.

The DHFL's primary stakeholders, Kapil Wadhawan, Aruna Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, used their proxies and associates to buy shares/equity and other private assets in India and abroad, the website alleged. "By lending to shell/pass-through companies without due diligence, DHFL has ensured that the recovery of such dubious loans is impossible since the companies or their directors themselves do not own any assets," the website had alleged.

The website also alleged that donations of Rs 19.5 crore had been given to the BJP between 2014–15 and 2016–17 by RKW Developers Pvt Ltd, Skill Realtors Pvt Ltd and Darshan Developers Pvt Ltd — donors linked to the Wadhawans. "These charities, however, flout the provisions of Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013, which govern corporate funding to political parties," the statement had said.

Accusing BJP's involvement in the scam, the Congress leader said, "The BJP has promoted fraud by evading the law as the ruling party chose not to even give the PAN details of these two companies to the election commission. Apart from this, Darshan Developers also donated Rs 7.5 crore to BJP in 2016-17, which was in losses of Rs 7.69 crore in 2016-17."

The Congress has also asked as why RBI, SEBI and Ministry of Finance have not initiated any investigation; why is it that the donation records of the BJP do not share the PAN details of these companies as mandated by the Election Commission of India; why is it that the government continues to pressurize the RBI to lend money to NBFCs by totally absolving transparency and accountability from these NBFCs?

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