Friday , September 24 2021

Rahul Gandhi attacks Union Minister Piyush Goyal over `financial impropriety`; BJP accuses Congress of spreading `malicious falsehoods`

New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked BJP leader and Union Minister Piyush Goyal over financial irregularities.

He tweeted, “It’s no secret that CA Piyush Goyal, the BJP treasurer, has pried open the doors of every major corporate house for PM Modi. How then will the PM act against this minister, caught red-handed, misusing his power for 48 crore of personal gain?”

On the other hand, the Congress on Saturday again demanded the removal of Goyal, alleging that financial deals of a company owned by him were a “murky saga of gratification, gross impropriety and conflict of interest”.

Congress leader Pawan Khera claimed that four months after holding the portfolio of New and Renewable Energy, the BJP leader sold his entire holding in Flashnet Info Solutions (India) Limited, owned by him and his wife, at nearly 1000 percent premium to a company of Piramal group which has interests in the renewable energy sector, PTI reported.

He cited company filings of Piramal Estates Private Limited to make the claims. Khera alleged that Goyal did not disclose this in his assets made public on the PMO website soon after becoming a minister and this was a “clear case of conflict of interest”.

BJP slams Congress for attacking Piyush Goyal, calls allegations malicious:

Reacting to the allegations, the BJP in a statement said, “In the last month, the Congress party made Piyush Goyal a target by hurling malicious allegations against his bona fide business dealings to insinuate wrongdoings and irregularity. The modus operandi of the attack has been to gain cheap political mileage by indulging in a baseless campaign against him with no sound facts to back them but with the only intention of creating false controversies.”

It also pointed out that the facts exposed the Congress for blatant misrepresentations using falsehoods and malicious propaganda against the minister who was carrying out his professional work through his companies, which were also holding his investments, prior to his becoming minister in May 2014.

“He stopped all professional/business activities the day he became a minister, resigned from all directorships and started the process of selling all his investments,” it said. The saffron party added that Goyal was being targetted to divert attention from the series of scandals of its leaders for which they have no answers. “Congress has nothing to attack the Narendra Modi government and its leaders and is resorting to manufacturing controversies using malicious falsehoods which are completely baseless,” it said.

Congress leader Khera alleged that though the net worth of ‘Flashnet Info Solutions (India) Limited’ (even 6 months after the sale, according to statutory filings pertaining to the financial year ending March 2015) is only Rs 10.9 crore, the company filings of ‘Piramal Estates Private Limited’ reflect that a whopping Rs 48 crore was provided to Goyal Family owned shares in Flashnet Info Solutions (India) Limited, which translates into an astronomical price of Rs 9,586 per share.

The BJP, however, said that the “sale of Flashnet shares took place in July 2014 before the declaration of assets and liabilities was submitted on July 25, 2014, and not on September 29, 2014, as falsely alleged by the Congress”.

Meanwhile, Piramal Group was quoted as saying by IANS, “Piramal Estates Pvt. Ltd. (PEPL) purchased Flashnet Info Solutions Pvt Ltd, a firm owned by Piyush Goyal and Seema Goyal, in July 2014. The purchase consideration paid was the fair value of the underlying investments (movable and immovable assets) and the same was paid in July 2014 itself. This was based on an independent chartered accountant valuation.”

It added, “Piramal Group strongly refutes the false allegations…”

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