Congress demands Shekhawat’s sacking from Union Cabinet over alleged role in a ‘ponzi scheme’
The Congress alleged the cooperative society, registered in 2008, was active in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and its 2,14,472 investors had deposited Rs 883.88 crore till June 2019 into its accounts
The Congress on Friday again demanded that Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat should be sacked from the Cabinet, this time for an investigation ordered by a Rajasthan court into his alleged role in the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam.
The Congress, which dubbed it as the "biggest ponzi scheme" in the desert state, had earlier demanded the sacking of Shekhawat after his alleged role in attempts to topple the Ashok Gehlot government came to light through audio clips released by the party.
"Till the investigation in the scam is not over, Shekhawat should either resign or Prime Minister Narendra Modi should sack him," Congress leader Pawan Khera said in a virtual press conference.
The Congress has upped the ante for Shekhawat's removal after a Jaipur Court ordered the probe into the around Rs 884-crore scam.
Society Director Vikram singh, alleged to be close to the Union Minister, is in judicial custody since September 2019 on charge of forgery and in connection with other cases.
The Congress alleged that the cooperative society, which was registered in 2008, was active in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and its 2,14,472 investors had deposited Rs 883.88 crore till June 2019 into its accounts.
The party alleged that the money was transferred to society employees and then to Navprabha Buildtech, Lucid Pharma, Arihant Theatre, and Jan Constructions.
The Congress claimed that 2,500 hectares of land was bought in Ethiopia with part of this investors' money, with banana cultivation done on 500 hectares.
Khera alleged that the money used in the attempts to topple the Congress government in Rajasthan was routed through corrupt means.
The Jaipur court had directed the Rajasthan Special Operations Group on July 21 to investigate the scam.
Highlights of Pawan Khera’s comments at the press conference:
Yesterday, a Court in Jaipur ordered an enquiry into a multicrore, actually, Rs. 884 crore ponzi scheme, call the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society. This credit cooperative society was registered in 2008 and the most important person of this society called Vikram Singh, was not only an office bearer but, an important office bearer of this society for several years, but, he also was a Director or a Partner of some Companies. Some of them important, therefore I will name those companies because they are directly connected with Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Navprabha Buildtech Pvt Ltd., Sooryabhoomi Buildinfra Private Limited, Sanjivani Eduinfra International Private Limited and Lucid Pharma Private Limited, these are some of the companies, there are many more.
So this Sanjivani, I will explain the modus operandi to you, the Sanjivani Cooperative Society, Rajasthan is active in two states, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Till June, 2019, 2,14,472 investors have invested, Rs. 884 Crores. The exact amount is Rs. 883.88 crore in this society. They stopped getting their interest or anything from the society form 1st June, 2019 onwards. Nobody is getting anything from the society, despite putting their hard earned money. Well, it would be a coincidence that it was in May-June, 2019 that this Government came back to power, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat became an MP again and then he is a Minister, could be a coincidence, but, a very interesting coincidence nevertheless.
In the books, if you see the loan books and the account books of the society, roughly around Rs. 11 hundred crore have been shown as loan and the prima facie investigations show most of them to be bogus loans, which have used fake signatures, 15 loans in the same hand writing given to this, on the same day, same account, written by the same person, no KYC norms so and so, it is huge scam there.
There is an act called the Multistate Cooperative Societies Act 2002, under which a Cooperative Society cannot first take the investments from people, then transfer those investments to its own employees then from their bank accounts transfer the investment to group companies owned by the same society or connected with the same society or any of its members, but, it was done in this case, there some strange confidence that comes into the powers that be these days we see, they are not afraid of anything, they know that the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, the SFIO, the Income Tax Department will not focus on their addresses, on their account books, on their scams, this is one such example.
So, the money of the society is lent to some of its office bearers, from there it goes to companies, companies like Navprabha and Sooryabhoomi Buildinfra Private Limited. The ordinary investors, the 2,14,472 investors of Rajasthan and Gujarat, don’t get anything. Everything is siphoned off through shell companies and then huge buildings are build, huge properties are acquired not just in Rajasthan, but also in Ethiopia, in Africa, 2,500 hectares of land is bought in Ethiopia, of which 500 hectares you will see banana cultivation.
So, here Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is trying to reduce our democracy into a banana republic and on the other hand he is using the ponzi scheme to cultivate bananas in Africa, look at the irony of it. As I said, the confidence, he is closely connected through being a Director, Partner, his wife, Navprabha Build Tech, Lucid Pharma, Jan Construction, Arihant Theater, all these companies have been the beneficiaries of this ponzi scheme.
Yesterday, probe was ordered, we are glad that there is a probe order. It is not surprising therefore, when you see this man called Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, when you hear his voice, we heard in the social media, there was some tapes last week, when you hear his voice trying to buy MLAs and disrupt a democratically elected government in Rajasthan.
Of course, it is a natural question that comes to our minds, where is the money coming from and to look for those answers, you see all these scams, ponzi schemes, where the hard earned money of investors is being misused by powerful people, people in positions of power, who have the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. These are valid questions. Congress Party demands that for the sake of transparency and accountability in democracy, he should ask Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to tender his resignation today.
In the last 6 years we have not seen a single example of the Prime Minister taking any initiative to ensure transparency and accountability in democracy. Even, if one was wrongly accused, we gave several such examples; our history is replete with such examples. Mr. Prime Minister in your legacy, let there be at least one example of transparency, that is our demand today.