Brazen, unholy nexus between Essel group and govt: Congress

The Congress on Friday alleged that there was a 'brazen nexus between the Modi government at the Centre and his corporate friends'

Pawan Khera
Pawan Khera
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IANS

The Congress on Friday alleged that there was a 'brazen nexus between the Modi government at the Centre and his corporate friends' and alleged that the rules were bent, laws ignored and misused to protect the vested interests of his 'favourite businessmen'.

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, "In this case, it is his blue-eyed businessman turned MP Subhash Chandra who stated that the 'Yes Bank induced and pressured him to take the loan' and hence the default was not his fault. The shares invoked by Yes Bank were therefore stolen property under section 102 of CRPC. The Uttar Pradesh Police wrote to NSDL and BSE attaching the shares of Dish TV held by Yes Bank. This unprecedented FIR was slammed by the Supreme Court."

He alleged that "On September 4, 2021, Yes Bank wrote to the board of Dish TV asking them to convene an extraordinary general body meeting of shareholders to consider voting out most of the current board of directors and replacing them with a highly reputed board dominated by independent directors. The board of Dish TV refused and Yes Bank approached the NCLT for relief. In the meantime, an AGM was called by Dish TV to meet the statutory requirements.

"To avoid key resolutions being voted out by shareholders including Yes Bank, BJP MP Subhash Chandra got the Inspector of Crime Branch Gautam Buddha Nagar to register an FIR on his complaint."

The Congress spokesperson alleged, "The Essel Group continued to milk the cash flows of Dish TV. Auditors have raised questions on Rs 1,200 crore invested in a content platform called Watcho. Yes bank too has complained about this to regulators. The stock markets have reacted to the auditors' multiple comments on misgovernance and the stock has lost Rs 20,000 crore in market value. Many aggrieved minority shareholders have also written complaints to SEBI, Finance and Corporate Affairs ministry.

"In the interest of tax payers money infused through SBI into Yes Bank, it becomes crucial for SEBI to invoke its powers and help recover the Bank's dues. The bank has written to SEBI and MoC to suspend the board of directors of Dish TV; to appoint an administrator to manage the affairs of the company; to conduct forensic investigation into the accounts of the company."

Khera said Yes Bank Ltd was a private sector bank reeling under huge losses in early 2020.

"The SBI group & other financial institutions infused Rs 11,760 crore to revive the bank. Today, Yes Bank is classified as an associate bank of SBI and the board of directors include representatives of SBI, RBI and other financial institutions, as significant public money has been invested in Yes Bank to clean up its act.

"At the time of placing Yes Bank under moratorium, it was mentioned that one of the main reasons for the problems faced by the bank was the Essel Group of Subhash Chandra, with a total of Rs 6,789 crore outstanding dues were from this group alone.

"The new board of Yes Bank ordered a forensic audit into 12 out of 22 Essel Group borrowing entities. 8 out of these 12 have been declared as fraud accounts totalling Rs 3,197 crore.

"Many other banks too have declared loans to the Essel Group as a fraud account. One of the securities given to Yes Bank was the shares of Dish TV - a company listed in BSE & NSE. Yes Bank started invoking the pledge in June 2020 and completed it in August 2021. Today Yes Bank owns 25.63 per cent of Dish TV. With many other creditors having sold or invoked the shares, the promoter stake stands at 5.93 per cent," said Khera.

The Congress said, "Why was the government not taking any steps to help the SBI affiliated Yes Bank recover money from this BJP MP and funder of the RSS?"

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