Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at the Indian media for not reporting on the alleged scam of Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi termed it a ‘tragedy for our country’ stating that ‘journalists entrusted to stand for the truth’ were refusing to speak. He wrote, “Cong President Sh Rahul Gandhi on Twitter- Piyush Goyal’s, 48 CR. #FlashNet Scam is about deceit, conflict of interest and greed. The evidence is on the table. Yet, the media will not touch the story. It is a tragedy for our country when journalists entrusted to stand for the truth, will not speak. #GoyalMustResign (sic)”
Piyush Goyal’s, 48 CR. #FlashNet Scam is about deceit, conflict of interest and greed. The evidence is on the table. Yet, the media will not touch the story.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 1, 2018
The Congress had demanded Goyal’s sacking alleging “impropriety” and “conflict of interest” last month adding that a company associated with him in the past was given a “haircut” loan waiver of 65 percent on the outstanding loan amount of over Rs 650 crore.
In an emergency press conference addressed by three leaders, Ghulam Nabi Azad, M. Veerapa Moily and party spokesperson Pawan Khera, the party had alleged, “Union Cabinet Minister, Piyush Goyal was chairman and ‘whole time director’ of Shirdi Industries Ltd. from 25 April 2008 to 1 July 2010. During this time, Shirdi Industries Ltd. worked out a loan of Rs 258.62 Cr from a consortium of Banks, headed by Union Bank of India.
“Despite Shirdi Industries Ltd (of Rakesh Agarwal and Mukesh Bansal) being declared ‘sick’, their sister company Asis Industries proceeded to grant an unsecured loan of Rs 1.59 crore in 2015-16 to Intercon Advisors Pvt Ltd, a company owned by Seema Goyal, the wife of the Union Minister.”
According to documents produced by Congress leaders, On 23 November, 2017, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amending Act, 2017 came into force.
“Section 29A of the Act prohibits a promoter from submitting any bids for a company before NCLT. Shirdi Industries Ltd. (of Rakesh Agarwal and Mukesh Bansal) went to NCLT. Outstanding loan amount of consortium of banks was Rs 651.87 Cr. Shockingly, the consortium of banks agreed to take a haircut (waive off) 65% of loan amount and settled for Rs 228.85 Cr. (Rs173.85 Cr to be paid between Dec 2017-March 2022 & Rs 55 Cr to be paid between June, 2022 –March 2024). Surprisingly, no one raised an objection that promoter of Shirdi Industries Ltd i.e Shri Rakesh Agarwal (a close associate and friend of Union Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal) could not have bid in view of prohibition contained in Section 29A of the Insolvency Code,” they added.
The proximity of Goyal to Rakesh Agarwal of Shridi Industries Ltd., they added, can be best understood from the fact that ‘Pradeep Goyal (brother of Shri Piyush Goyal) and Rakesh Agarwal were also directors in another company, Pradeep Metals Ltd.’
The party alleged, “Not only this, Piyush Goyal and his wife Smt. Seema Goyal were directors in another company, Sajal Finance and Investments Pvt. Ltd. from 9.02.2009 to 21.12.2013. They resigned and were succeeded by Gaurav Rakesh Agarwal, son of Rakesh Agarwal and Ameet Mukesh Bansal, son of Mukesh Bansal. The web of corporate entities that ties Shri Piyush Goyal and his family to Shri Rakesh Agarwal/Mukesh Bansal, is thus, glaringly apparent.”
Gandhi had also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday during his Jan Aakrosh Rally at Delhi’s Ramlila ground accusing him to look the other way on the sale of shares held in a privately-held company at nearly 1,000 times the face value by Goyal.
The BJP has denied the allegations terming them “baseless and malicious”.