Amit Shah says question of corruption ‘doesn’t arise’, dares Opp. to go to court.
New Delhi: After keeping a studied silence for days, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday stepped up to defend his son Jay over a news report suggesting a firm owned by him had seen a significant hike in its turnover after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014. Mr Jay Shah has filed a Rs 100-crore defamation suit against the author of the news report and the Web portal that carried it. While the RSS has backed the BJP president’s son, the Congress had demanded the sacking of Mr Shah and a judicial inquiry into the case. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, however, not spoken on the issue so far, which the Opposition has also been demanding.
In an interview to a TV news channel, Mr Amit Shah claimed his son’s dealings were clean and the latter’s company did not receive any government land or contract worth even a single rupee. He even dared the Opposition and the critics to “go to court”.
The Congress has been raking up the issue in its campaign in poll-bound Gujarat. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi repeatedly raised it during his roadshows in the state. The Assembly polls in Gujarat, home state of both Mr Modi and Mr Shah, are due in December.
Hitting out at the Congress, Mr Shah said it did not file a defamation suit despite facing several corruption charges while his son had moved the court over the allegations against him. “The question of corruption does not arise (in Jay’s company),” Mr Shah said in response to a question.
Referring to the Bofors payoff scandal that had rocked the then Congress government in 1980s, Mr Shah said: “The (Jay Shah) company has not taken commission like in Bofors,” adding that it dealt in commodities like rice and millet.
“They are saying the turnover of the company was Rs 80 crore, but they are not showing that it incurred a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. This is a high-volume low-profit business... Where is money-laundering in it?” Mr Shah asked.
Replying to a query on the loan given to the company, Mr Shah said: “You have to understand first that it was not a loan, but a letter of credit. We were given credit to lift material against cash deposits. Jay’s cash was lying in the bank and we have paid the loan with interest.”
The BJP has rejected the charges against its president’s son, who termed the report “false, derogatory and defamatory”.