The hullabaloo sparked by a news report on a website that a company run by Jay Shah, son of BJP president Amit Shah, recorded unbelievable growth after the BJP came to power with Shah as the party president, is least likely to immediately die down by denial or by filing a defamation suit against the author and publisher.
The online portal The Wire, published a report on Sunday that the turnover of Jay Shah’s company Temple Enterprises Private Limited, increased 16, 000 over using his father’s political influence after the party assumed power in 2014. Rohini Singh, an investigative journalist revealed the shocking details of corruption on the news website. The report claimed that Jay Shah took loans for his business amassing a huge amount of money through illegal means. The deception carried out by the company that was in losses during the tenure of UPA government, suddenly making huge profits after Narendra Modi took charge, came to light from the documents with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). The company was started in 2004 with Jay Shah and family friend Jitendra Shah listed as its directors and deals with the import and export of agricultural commodities. In 2013-14, the company did not own any fixed assets and had no inventories or stock. A loss of Rs 6230 was shown as well. By 2015, the profit was 18, 728 while in 2016, revenues jumped to Rs 80.5 crore. A stranger aspect is that Temple Enterprises then suddenly stopped all its business activities.
The report about the corrupt business of Amit Shah’s son comes amid the allegations of the Opposition that those having connections with the Sangh Parivar were joining hands with the corporate forces and carrying out large scale corruption causing changes in the economy amidst making the atmosphere more volatile with its communal agenda. It was the same journalist who exposed the illegal transactions of Robert Vadra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law with a giant real estate company that set off the new controversy. It’s unlikely for Amit Shah and his son to save their faces by denying the allegations. The BJP and its allies are employing the tactic of placing Robert Vadra under a cloud of suspicion in order to hound Sonia Gandhi and create obstacles for the entry of Priyanka Gandhi into active politics. One could easily understand by seeing the documents of the RoC as to how Shah’s son pocketed Rs 80 crore. The ‘astonishing surge’ in the profits of Temple Enterprises began after the company received an unsecured loan of Rs 15.78 crore from a financial services firm owned by Rajesh Khandwala, the relative of Parimal Nathwani, a Rajya Sabha MP and top executive of Reliance Industries.
With the matter taken over by the rival political parties, Jay Shah has threatened the website with a defamation suit of Rs 100 crore. The news website reveals that Shah’s lawyer warned that any story on Jay Shah’s business dealings could lead to adverse legal consequences when the website posed questions using company documents. The hullabaloo as well as the mudslinging caused by the Hindutwa forces continuously for three years during the tenure of UPA government over the business transactions of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law was an instance of how every transaction involving the family of political leaders and the corporate forces would be subjected to merciless public scrutiny. It’s the ruling party’s national president who stands accused for his son’s illegal wealth. Khandwala’s daughter is married to Nathwani’s son and Nathwani heads the Reliance Industries in Gujarat.
Nathwani was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand in 2014 with the help of BJP MLAs. Putting together all these connections and transactions, one could easily reach a conclusion. The BJP MP invested crores into Jay Shah’s business worth Rs 50, 000 due to the political influence of Amit Shah. Although the mainstream media cook up many such financial dealings in the backroom and encourages the wrongdoings by the government, they are presently in a state of silence and shameful appeasement. The instance of Tehelka reminds us about the fate if the corruption and wrongdoings of those in power are exposed. During the tenure of erstwhile government, the corruption of the Ministers and party leaders were recorded using a hidden camera and disclosed before the nation. The punishment was too severe. The challenges to be faced by The Wire, as an alternate media that displays courageous journalism, wouldn’t be small. Still, the stance of the news website of standing firm in their revelations, is much commendable.