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Home Fact-Check Truth about 'Ahmedabad DCCB-Amit Shah scam' - How Congress spread lies and inanities

Truth about ‘Ahmedabad DCCB-Amit Shah scam’ – How Congress spread lies and inanities

The Congress has been getting exceptionally desperate recently. The scam ridden party, whose President, Rahul Gandhi, and its former President Sonia Gandhi, are themselves out on bail, have been desperate to prove that the Modi government and the BJP are as scam ridden as them. This desperation, of course, stems from the fact that the country has summarily rejected the tainted party electorally, and there seems no sign of resurgence even after their rainbow coalition with regional parties.

Congress has been random and sans merit in conjuring up scams by this government and BJP functionaries which have been summarily debunked. Now, in their desperation, they have taken that line forward by targeting Amit Shah himself, and this time the accusations are even more ludicrous and weak than before.

The party has imagined a scam because the BJP President is a director with a bank that attracted deposits during demonetization. This is in line with Congress’ attempt to spread misinformation about demonetization, which had started immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in November 2016 that old 500 and 1000 rupees note would cease to be valid legal tenders.

At the offset, the most ridiculous insinuation is that an individual, or group of individuals depositing money in the bank, no matter what the quantum, mean they are indulging in malpractice and/or a scam exists. Pre demonetisation, holding cash was a normal phenomenon, and the mere holding of cash that was later deposited in the bank, legally, by no means signifies a scam.

The bank in question here is Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) of which, Amit Shah is the Director. The allegation by Congress is (emphasis added) : 

“The DCCBs were given only five days to accept demonetised cash, instead of the fifty days provided to the Public Sector Banks and other Scheduled Commercial Banks, as the government was aware of the loopholes that the DCCBs could provide to the demonetisation exercise. However, as the reports suggest, it seems that the ‘all-powerful’ required only five days. ADCB accepted Rs. 745.59 crores in demonetised cash in that five-day window. On the other hand, Gujarat State Cooperative Bank Ltd., the apex body in the state, accepted only Rs. 1.11 crores in demonetised currency; 370 DCCBs across India accepted Rs, 22, 271 crores in demonetised currency, which comes down to approx. Rs. 60 crores per DCCB on average. How is it that a DCCB, with Amit Shah as director, accepted 12 times more demonetised cash than any other DCCB? The scam does not stop at Amit Shah alone. According to trends established, it seems that such practices are widespread within the BJP. Rajkot District Cooperative Bank (RDCB), headed by Jayeshbhai Vittalbhai Radadiya – a cabinet minister in Gujarat government, accepted demonetised currency worth Rs. 693.19 crores, i.e. 11.5 times more than any other DCCB, on average. In total, eleven District Cooperative Banks in Gujarat, headed by BJP leaders, accepted demonetised cash worth Rs. 3118.51 crores. This begs the question, how deep does the demonetisation scam run?”

The amusing part about this entire paragraph is how first Congress admits that DCCBs were given only 5 days to accept demonetised currency, and then goes on to say that “powerful people needed only five days”.

On a more serious note, their allegation is that ADCB accepted Rs. 745.59 crores in demonetised currency in that 5-day window and how the Congress is gobsmacked that the amount was so high. They compare how the amount accepted by ADCB is higher than the average amount accepted by 370 DCCBs put together.

What the Congress doesn’t tell the small percentage of people who would read this and actually take them seriously, is that the amount received by ADCB is quite in tune with the size of its operations.

With total business levels of over Rs.9,000 crore, ADCB (where Amit Shah is Director) is one of the top ten DCCBs of the country, recently awarded for the best performance by the Federation of the Cooperative Banks. The bank has a total of 194 branches, the highest among all the DCCBs of Gujarat. Its deposit base of Rs 5,330 crore is also the highest among all the banks of Gujarat, with nearly 16 lakh deposit accounts. It also has the highest number of ATMs [59] among the DCCBs of Gujarat, besides 200 micro ATMs.

According to a press statement by NABARD, there are 16 lakh accounts with the Ahmedabad DCCB (where Amit Shah is the director), out of which 1.60 lakh customers deposited money (9.37%). 98.66% people deposited less than 2.5 lakhs in their accounts. NABARD also says that in the Ahmedabad DCCB, the average deposit amount was Rs. 46,795 which is lower than average per depositor in 18 other DCCBs in Gujarat.

The statement by NABARD reiterates that during this intervening period, 1.60 lakh customers of the bank deposited/ exchanged demonetised notes aggregating to Rs.746 crore which was only about 15 % of total deposits of the bank.

Considering the size of the DCCB Bank and the fact that the average deposit per customer in the bank during the demonetisation period was Rs. 46,795 (much lower than the 2.5L limit set by the government), the question of scam doesn’t arise. The numbers seem to indicate that the quantum of deposits was in concurrence with the size of operations of the bank.

Congress will also not tell its readers that demonetised notes presented in the DCCBs of Maharashtra were higher than those deposited in Gujarat, followed by DCCBs in Kerala. One wonders then, is there a reason why they are going after this DCCB specifically? Is it because they know Amit Shah is one of the main reasons why their party is facing the horrible electoral defeat it is?

According to an Indian Express report, over two-thirds of the demonetised currency deposited in banks has come in the form of deposits over Rs 2 lakh — totalling around Rs 10.38 lakh crore. “These are the immediate high-level cases, which apparently appear to be odd. The Operation Clean Money targets them in the first phase,” Adhia said a day after the Budget.

With such high deposits amounting to the bulk of deposits, Congress insinuating that a bank that averaged Rs. 46,795 per depositor points to a scam, in turn, insults the common citizen who has, in many cases, deposited far more than that amount.

Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to make these insinuations against Amit Shah. In his tweet, he highlights the “In 5 days” part almost hinting that people related to Amit Shah somehow rushed to the bank to deposit cash. Whereas the truth is that the 746 crore was a cumulative deposit of 1.60 lakh customers.

Divya Spandana, Rahul Gandhi lackey and the one responsible for his “Twitter resurgence” took it a step further and made an even more ridiculous comment. She explicitly wrote that “Amit Shah made a whopping 745 crores on demonetised notes” which is an asinine allegation. The entire amount of 745 crores was deposited by 1.60 lakh customers and it certainly doesn’t mean that Amit Shah personally made that money.

The only purpose of this ridiculous tweet seems to be to appear so dumb, that Rahul Gandhi starts looking more intelligent in comparison.

NABARD in its statement also said, “NABARD conducted 100 % verification in Ahmedabad DCCB which revealed that the bank had complied with all the KYC Guidelines of the RBI while accepting the demonetised notes. As per the verification report of NABARD, required under the extant guidelines, the bank had also submitted the required Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) and STRs to FlU-India wherever required. The average amount of demonetised notes deposited by the customers of the bank has been lower than that of other banks.

Based on the satisfactory verification of demonetised notes held by concerned DCCBs across India, including Ahmedabad and Rajkot, RBI accepted the demonetised notes held by these DCCBs. The RBI gave necessary credit in the accounts of DCCBs concerned.”

It makes clear that all compliances were followed, verifications are done for both the Ahmedabad bank and Rajkot bank.

This is not the first time Rahul Gandhi and his coterie have conducted such hollow hitjobs. He had earlier shared The Wire’s comprehensively debunked hit job on Piyush Goyal with some caustic comments without realising his self-goal perhaps. He is no stranger to self-goals too. In fact, not so long ago he had done exactly the same when we at OpIndia has preemptively busted an imminent hitjob against the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. After our article, ‘The Wire’ had conceded that “there was not much of a story to pursue after all“, which is why they had dropped the story after receiving a response from Jaitley and his daughter’s firm. Mr Rahul Gandhi had then proceeded to plug the very article where ‘The Wire’ had admitted to no impropriety on the part of Arun Jaitley, in a bid to tarnish his image. We had then also speculated whether Rahul Gandhi actually knew of the imminent hitjob.

In their article, the Congress also mentions the Jay Shah hitjob which was debunked by us comprehensively and the portal responsible for that hitjob is facing a 100 crore defamation suit, in which the court has already mentioned that a prima facie case exists against the portal.

This lie, just like any other lie peddled by Rahul Gandhi and his motley band of misleaders boils down to one thing, and one thing one. As DaShanne Stokes says, ‘When you’re dealing with frauds and liars, listen more to what they don’t say than what they do.’

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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