New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Reacting to allegations about financial impropriety by Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, the BJP on Saturday said it was an attempt by the Congress party to attack Goyal based on “baseless, malicious and incorrect” accusations.
“In the last month, the Congress party made Piyush Goyal a target by hurling malicious allegations against Shri Goyal’s bonafide business dealings to insinuate wrongdoings and irregularity,” the BJP said in a statement.
The Congress on Saturday called Goyal’s alleged sale of shares held in a privately-held company at nearly 1,000 times the face value as a “murky saga” of “gratification, gross impropriety and conflict of interest”. The party also sought his removal and a “comprehensive, independent investigation” into the matter.
Citing a detailed story by a news website, the Congress alleged the BJP leader had sold, in September 2014, the entire stock of the privately-held company he and his wife owned, at nearly 1,000 times the face value to a group firm owned by Ajay Piramal, without informing the Prime Minister’s Office then or later. The transaction took place four months after Goyal became a minister.
The BJP said that the “modus operandi of the attack has been to gain cheap political mileage by indulging in a baseless campaign against Shri Goyal with no sound facts to back them but with the only intention of creating false controversies. The falsehoods spread by Congress reflect their desperation since they have nothing to attack the Modi government.”
It further said Goyal, who is an eminent chartered accountant, was carrying out his professional work through his companies, which were also holding his investments. “Prior to his becoming Minister in May 2014, he stopped all professional/business activities, resigned from all directorships and started the process of selling all his investments.”
The BJP said: “The Sale of Flashnet shares took place in July 2014 before the declaration of assets and liabilities was submitted on 25th July 2014 and not on 29th Sep 2014 as falsely alleged by the Congress. This sale was made at full market value as per third party, independent, expert valuation and the entire sale value was received in the bank before submitting the declaration and was fully reflected in the value of assets submitted.”
The BJP Goyal was being targeted, because Congress “wishes to divert attention from the series of scandals of its leaders for which they have no answers.”