An RTI reply has sensationally revealed that a cooperative bank in Gujarat with BJP President Amit Shah as a director, had collected the highest volume of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were abruptly demonetised on 8 November, 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Interestingly, according to the website of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), Shah continues to remain its director raising serious conflict of interest given his proximity to the finance ministry as the president of the ruling party. Janta Ka Reporter accessed the website on Thursday and found that Shah was still being described one of the directors of the cooperative bank. (see below). He was also the bank’s chairman in 2000. ADCB’s total deposits on March 31, 2017, were Rs 5,050 crore and its net profit for 2016-17 was Rs 14.31 crore.
A report by IANS said that the bank in question secured deposits of Rs 745.59 crore of the demonetised notes — in just five days after PM Modi made the demonetisation announcement. All the district cooperative banks were banned from accepting deposits of the banned currency notes from the public after 14 November, 2016 on fears that black money would be laundered through this route.
He was also the bank’s chairman in 2000. ADCB’s total deposits on March 31, 2017, were Rs 5,050 crore and its net profit for 2016-17 was Rs 14.31 crore.
Another branch with a BJP minister as its chairman received the deposit of Rs 693.19 crore in the same period. The Rajkot District Cooperative Bank has Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya, a cabinet minister in Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s government, has its chairman.
Rajkot is also believed to be a hub of Gujarat BJP politics as PM Modi was first elected from there as a legislator in 2001. “The amount of deposits made in the State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) — revealed under RTI for first time since demonetisation — are astounding,” Manoranjan S. Roy, the RTI activist who made the effort to get the information was quoted by IANS.
The BJP had come under criticism for the timing of its “large-scale purchase of land” in Bihar ahead of demonetisation.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had asked, “The JD(U) has raised the question of large-scale purchase of land by BJP in Bihar ahead of demonetization for opening offices… BJP should answer from where they got this much of money for the purpose.”