New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of receiving bribes while he was the Gujarat Chief Minister and sought a judicial probe into the issue. The Delhi assembly also sought a reversal of the demonetisation move.
He made the accusation during a special session of the assembly, which passed a resolution urging President Pranab Mukherjee to direct the union government to immediately withdraw the “draconian demonetisation”.
In the course of his speech, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader dropped a bombshell.
Quoting from what he said were official records, Kejriwal referred to an October 15, 2013 Income Tax raid on the Aditya Birla group in Delhi during which Rs 25 crore in cash was seized.
He said officials seized documents, account books, computer records and a laptop belonging to a senior company official that had a message that stated “Gujarat CM-25 Crore (12 done-rest?)”.
“It clearly suggested a payment of Rs 25 crore to the then Gujarat Chief Minister,” he said.
Kejriwal urged the assembly to add the allegations against the Prime Minister to the resolution on demonetisation and urged President Mukherjee to order a Supreme Court monitored probe into it.
The assembly adopted the resolution by voice vote.
The house also resolved to refer the allegations of receipt of bribes by “persons holding high offices from Birla and Sahara Groups” to the Supreme Court with a request to order suitable inquiry.
The AAP leader said the Sahara group’s offices were raided in 2014 and several documents with names of various political leaders including Modi were recovered.
The Chief Minister alleged that Modi took the money to clear some projects in Gujarat.
Kejriwal also referred to the way senior BJP leader L.K. Advani refused to contest the Lok Sabha elections in 1996 when he was linked to the hawala scandal and said he wondered whether Modi would uphold similar values.
The AAP leader claimed that the demonetisation was actually a “war against the poor people of the country”.
He said while many in the country were not able to conduct weddings, there were reports that Rs 500 crore was being splurged at the marriage of the daughter of a mining scam accused in Karnataka known to be close to the BJP.
Kejriwal urged the President to direct the government to withdraw at once the demonetisation scheme that has led to a cash chaos all over the country with millions thronging banks and ATMs.
He said the November 8 announcement to spike the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes had caused misery to ordinary people.
The resolution called the scheme a “fraud” on the nation and said it had been launched to benefit a particular political party through its agents in the black money market.
Kejriwal also accused Modi of helping big corporates and said the Prime Minister had waived off Rs 1.14 lakh crore dues of corporates but was threatening people who deposit more than Rs 2.5 lakh in banks.
“You are a Prime Minister of the rich. And you have snatched the livelihood of the poor.”
Opposition leader Vijender Gupta was marshalled out from the house after he raised a din when Kejriwal was speaking.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia earlier said the demonetisation move would not curb black money.
“You use pest control to kill insects, you don’t set the entire house on fire,” Sisodia said.