Mumbai, Oct. 30: Income tax department officials on Tuesday commenced a probe of alleged shell companies of the Purti Group, said to have been once associated with Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari.
Media reports said that the officials made nquiries at twelve places in Mumbai where firms, which had invested in BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s company, had given their addresses.
The authorities also began a probe into shell companies in the Purti Group, owned by Gadkari. They will investigate the source of funds for investment made.
Gadkari is under attack over dubious funding of Purti Power and Sugar Ltd controlled by him.
Media reports allege that major investments and large loans to it were made by a construction firm Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when he was Maharashtra’s Public Works Department Minister.
On Monday, Gadkari said in Nagpur that the graft allegations levelled against him was a conspiracy hatched by the ruling Congress party.
Addressing his supporters, Gadkari said he would file legal case against all those who leveled charges of graft against him.
Gadkari was recently charged for illegally acquiring government land and for running a fake investment company.
A probe is being undertaken by the ministry of corporate affairs and income tax officials on whether the BJP party chief’s vast financial empire is funded by ghost investors.
While threatening to file legal lawsuits, Gadkari said that this is conspiracy by the ruling Congress party to defame him as their party chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is involved in inappropriate land deals worth millions.
“I am going to file a legal case. And there is a leader in Congress, Manish Tewari (present information and broadcasting minister), who has now become a minister. He had falsely alleged that I had bought a flat in Aadarsh. I had filed a case against him and he asked me to forgive him. Now I have filed cases against everyone including Digvijay Singh (Congress party’s general secretary). Now they don’t even remember how many cases have been filed against them. This is a conspiracy by the Congress party as their son-in-law has amassed lands worth millions. Me and Purti have not an inch of government land till date,” he said.
The BJP party chief also added here that the allegations against his Purti company were false.
“They are alleging that the share company is a fake company and it has been brought in money laundering. Purti has 12,000 shareholders. I and my family have a shares worth Rs. 1,00,000 ($1,848.46) in an equity of Rs. 680 millions. If I was indulging in money laundering, then I would have brought in black money from outside and invested in my family’s company, and then I would have added a few more billions and become the owner of this company. I have never got any such money. Inspite of this, false allegations were levelled against me,” said Gadkari.
Gadkari added that he would take to task all those who tried to tarnish his image.
“I will not leave the Congress agents who are out there in the media. I will not rest till I make everyone pay for it. I have said and done whatever I have wanted to, and you cannot malign me any more. But I believe that I have never taken bribe nor indulged in corruption and done anything wrong. I have saved the lives of more than 2000 poor people as I ensured that they underwent heart operations. The blessings of these people are with me and I will fight on the basis of their support,” he said.
According to the report in the media, 18 companies which own 80 percent of the shares in Purti Group, owned by Gadkari, are not located on the addresses mentioned on the website of the company.
Managing director of Purti group, Sudhir Dive had out rightly dismissed corruption allegations against Gadkari, adding that he resigned from the company 14 months ago.
Senior Congress leader, Digvijay Singh had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought that the BJP chief should be probed on fraud charges.
Earlier Anjali Damania, close aide of anti-graft crusader cum politician Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that Gadkari had acquired 100 acre of farmers” land through dubious means for his private trust although he refuted these charges. (ANI)