Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader DS Kulkarni, the alleged mastermind behind a ₹2,000 crore bank fraud, has direct links with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, Congress claimed on Saturday, June 23.
Addressing a conference in Delhi, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that Bhagwat and senior BJP leaders like Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had attended events organised by Kulkarni’s DSK Group. “DS Kulkarni Developers, the parent company, has secured loans worth ₹1,498.15 crore from various banks and finance companies such as Bank of Maharashtra, ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Finance, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Bajaj Finance, and Syndicate Bank,” said Khera at the press conference. “Not only this, but there are many such loans pending across various related associate and subsidiary companies of DS Kulkarni Developers. These loans total up to over ₹2,500 crore,” alleged Khera.
DS Kulkarni, who had joined the BJP in presence of senior BJP leaders including Rajnath Singh in 2014, has been arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in the 2,000 crore loan fraud case. Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), P Marathe has also been arrested, along with Kulkarni, for allegedly misusing his powers to sanction huge amounts of loans to shell companies. According to media reports, the bank executive and officials allegedly colluded with the DSK Group “with dishonest and fraudulent intentions to sanction and disburse the amount of the bank” under the garb of loans.
Congress, the main opposition party at the Centre and in the Maharashtra assembly, has squarely blamed the BJP for providing “political patronage” to Kulkarni. “The banking sector is in peril. Banks are bleeding. This is the 12th Bank Loot Scam that has surfaced this year and takes the total amount of Bank Loot Scams to a whopping ₹63,036 crore. How will the Modi Government recover such money from these fraudsters?” added Khera. "You do not have time to look after the health of the economy of this Nation. You are just protecting each other. You are busy covering the scams of each other—whether it is Rafale, whether it is Nirav Modi, whether it is Mallya or whether it is a new bank scam involving Amit Shah, whether it is Piyush Goyal’s scam—everybody is trying to protect each other,” alleged Khera.
Khera claimed many RTI activists and investors had written an open letter to the Prime Minister’s Office against Kulkarni, but there was no intervention from the PMO. “Even BJP MP Kirit Somaiya wrote to CM Devendra Fadnavis, but action was delayed by the BJP Government of Maharashtra, raising serious questions of political patronage,” alleged Khera.
Along with DS Kulkarni, his wife Hemanti has also been arrested on charges of cheating over 4,000 investors and diverting bank loans to the tune of thousand crores. According to police, around 1,500 complaints were lodged against DSK Group.
Last month, invoking the provisions of Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors Act, 1999, the Maharashtra government had ordered attachment of more than 120 properties, 275 bank accounts and four dozen vehicles belonging to the DSK Group and its owners.