Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday alleged that an Adtiya Birla Group company paid Rs 25 crore as bribe to Narendra Modi while he was Gujarat’s chief minister. “A back-up message dated November 16, 2012, was recovered [from the laptop of an official of the company] that stated ‘Gujarat CM-25 cr (12 Done-rest?)’,” said the Aam Aadmi Party chief while addressing a special session of the Delhi Assembly on the demonetisation move by the Centre. He also demanded a rollback of the currency ban and asked for a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the scheme.
Kejriwal said officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation had seized huge amounts of cash from the company’s Delhi office in 2013. The raids were carried out in connection with the coal block scam. “When questioned about this transaction, Shubhendu Amitabh [who was the Group Executive President of Aditya Birla Management Corporation Private Limited at the time] told the Income Tax department that these were purely personal notes,” said Kejriwal. The chief minister said the I-T department had concluded in its appraisal report that Amitabh gave “evasive replies and made unsubstantiated claims when questioned about cash payments”.
The AAP leader also criticised the Congress for not taking action against Modi. “This raid happened in 2013. The Congress was in power. But they should have initiated action. It means that the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress had deals between them,” he added.
The BJP has rejected the charges. “He will be known as a coward chief minister. He used the privilege of the House to tell lies,” a party leader told NDTV. The Birla group said it is a sub-judice matter and refused to comment on it.
Kejriwal’s comments come hours after advocate Prashant Bhushan filed a complaint with the Central Board of Direct Taxes in connection with a set of documents the Income Tax department took from the premises of two major industrial houses. The documents reportedly reveal massive payouts to politicians, reported The Hindu.