Sack Piyush Goyal immediately, demands Congress

Congress leaders on Wednesday accused Union Minister Piyush Goyal of “impropriety and conflict of interest” due to his alleged links with private firm Shirdi Industries, and demanded he be sacked

Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

Accusing Union minister Piyush Goyal of “impropriety and conflict of interest” due to his alleged links with private firm Shirdi Industries, the Congress on Wednesday demanded his “immediate sacking” and a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the issue.

Addressing a press conference, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Veerappa Moily and Pawan Khera also questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on recent alleged scams involving BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, NSA Ajit Doval’s son Shourya Doval, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Jatin Mehta and Shirdi Industries Ltd.

The Congress leaders alleged that Goyal was chairman and whole-time director of Shirdi Industries from April 25, 2008 to July 1, 2010 during which the company took a loan of ₹258.62 crore from a consortium of banks headed by Union Bank of India. The Wire had on Tuesday published an investigative report, stating similar facts relating to Mumbai-based Shirdi Industries and Piyush Goyal.

Following Goyal’s resignation from the company's board, the company was subsequently declared sick due to its inability to repay loans. However, after the Modi dispensation assumed power at the Centre, 65% of the outstanding loan amount of ₹651.87 crore was “shockingly” waived by the consortium of banks without any objections, alleged Azad.

Moily claimed that Asis Industries, a sister concern of Shirdi Industries, granted an unsecured loan of ₹1.59 crore in 2015-16 to Intercon Advisors, a company owned by Piyush Goyal's wife Seema Goyal.

Incidentally, Piyush Goyal was also director of the company from September 15, 2005 till July 22, 2013.

“Is it not a clear case of conflict of interest and impropriety on the part of Union minister Goyal? Why did Shirdi Industries through its sister concern Asis Industries extend an unsecured loan of ₹1.59 crore to the minister's wife Seema Goyal's company? Why did Piyush Goyal not declare this loan in his public filing on PMO website?” Azad asked.

“Serious and scandalous facts warrant a thorough independent judicial investigation by a sitting Supreme Court judge. It has made the position of union minister Piyush Goyal untenable to serve as cabinet minister. Piyush Goyal must be sacked forthwith,” he said.

Pointing towards alleged proximity of Union Minister Piyush Goyal to Rakesh Agarwal of Shridi Industries Ltd, he further stated that Pradeep Goyal (brother of Piyush Goyal) and Rakesh Agarwal were also directors in another company, Pradeep Metals Ltd. “Not only this, Piyush Goyal and his wife Seema Goyal were directors in another company, Sajal Finance and Investments Pvt. Ltd. from February 9, 2009 to December 21, 2013. They resigned and were succeeded by Gaurav Rakesh Agarwal, son of Rakesh Agarwal and Ameet Mukesh Bansal, son of Mukesh Bansal.”

During the press conference, the Congress leaders raised the following questions:

  • Did Union Minister Goyal declare his status as a chairman or whole-time director of Shirdi Industries Ltd., in light of the fact that loans worth ₹258.62 crore were raised from UBI consortium during his tenure and the company became ‘sick’ on June 8, 2015, finally leading to a default of ₹651.87 crore?
  • Why did Shirdi Industries Ltd. through its sister company, Asis Industries extend an ‘unsecured loan’ of ₹1.59 crore to Seema Goyal’s Intercon Advisors Pvt Ltd in 2015-16 when Shirdi Industries Ltd. had defaulted on its own loans on June 8, 2015? Why did Goyal not declare this loan in his public filing available on PMO website?
  • What is the special relationship between Piyush Goyal and family on one hand and Rakesh Agarwal and Mukesh Bansal on the other hand? Are they not connected through a web of companies, be it Shirdi Industries Ltd, Pradeep Metals Ltd. and Sajal Finance Investments Pvt. Ltd? Who are the other players, who are business associates of Goyal of their business interests and connections?
  • Why did consortium of banks such as UBI, SBI, UBI, Bank of India, Indian Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, take a ‘haircut’(loan waiver) of nearly 65% on the outstanding loan amount of ₹651.87 crore of Shirdi Industries Ltd (of Rakesh Agarwal and Mukesh Bansal)? How was a promoter permitted to bid for the company despite the prohibition under insolvency code? Was the consortium of banks influenced in any manner to accept 65% ‘haircut’?

With PTI inputs .

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