The Congress on June 22 said an RTI reply dated May 7, 2018 has revealed that a disproportionate amount of demonetised ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes were deposited in state co-operative banks (SCBs) and district co-operatives banks (DCBs) in NDA/BJP and “supporter”-ruled states (as per Congress party), and non-BJP/NDA-ruled states.
The RTI reply, said Congress, reveals an “important national picture, which further establishes that the entire exercise of Demonetisation was meant to benefit a select group of BJP cronies”. The Congress claimed that states ruled by BJP, its allies in the National Democratic Alliance and “supporters” at the time of demonetisation, got the largest proportion of deposits in DCBs, ie ₹14,294 crore out of a total ₹22,271 crore deposited in DCBs nationwide. This works out to, claims Congress, 64.18% of all DCB deposits in BJP/NDA and “supporter” ruled states, compared to 35.82% of deposits in DCBs in non-BJP ruled states (see image below).
We, however, removed the deposits in “supporter” states of AIADMK-ruled Tamil Nadu and Telangana Rashtra-Samiti-ruled Telangana from the list of BJP/NDA/”supporter-ruled states counted by Congress party, added them to the non-BJP/NDA-ruled states and recalculated. The figures changed, but still show a disproportionate amount of notes deposited in DCBs in 16 states ruled by BJP/NDA at the time of demonetisation. By this calculation, the BJP/NDA states still got the largest proportion of deposits in DCBs, ie ₹12,454 crores—or 56%—out of a total ₹22,271 crores deposited in DCBs nationwide. The non-BJP/NDA states accounted for ₹9,817 crores—or 44%—of DCB deposits. Important to remember that two large states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were not in the BJP/NDA column at the time (see image above).
Among deposits in SCBs, however, the Congress said that states ruled by BJP, NDA allies and “supporters” at the time of demonetisation got just slightly more deposits (₹3,374 crores/52%) in SCBs in non-BJP ruled states (₹3,033 crores/47%). After re-arranging Tamil Nadu and Telangana, the non-BJP/NDA states have a higher share of deposits (₹3,694 crores/58%) compared to BJP/NDA ruled states (₹2,713 crores/42%).
Earlier on June 22, Congress said the RTI reply showed that several DCBs in Gujarat received huge deposits of demonetised notes in the five days after the demonetisation decision was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016. The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank—in which BJP President Amit Shah is a director— received the maximum number of demonetised notes out of 370 such district central co-operative banks across India, that too within just five days. Congress alleged that the demonetisation was the “biggest scam since independence” and demanded a probe into BJP President Amit Shah’s role in the demonetisation “scam”.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi mocked BJP, saying in a tweet, “Congratulations Amit Shah ji , Director, Ahmedabad Dist. Cooperative Bank, on your bank winning 1st prize in the conversion of old notes to new race. 750 Cr in 5 days! Millions of Indians whose lives were destroyed by Demonetisation, salute your achievement.”
Congress at its press conference also brought up several past incidents to allege that BJP leaders had fore-knowledge of the demonetisation decision, and demanded the PM answer about certain cash deposits made after demonetisation. The Congress party made the following allegations at its press conference on June 22 and demanded investigations: