New Delhi: The Corporate Affairs Ministry has found prima facie proof of irregularities by Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari's Purti group, according to sources. Sources say the returns filed by the Purti group and other investor companies indicate irregularities in their business transactions. The Mumbai Registrar of Companies is probing the 15 companies which have links with Gadkari. Sources also say that the money trail leads to Kolkata and the companies have been given two weeks to explain.
Meanwhile, Delhi resident Balwan Singh Tokas has also filed a police complaint after getting Income Tax notices over Gadkari's firms. A complaint has been filed against against five investor firms that used Tokas's address. Tokas, a resident of Munirka in Delhi, got I-T notices as five investor firms showed his address.
This comes amidst allegations against Gadkari's firms being run as shell companies with fake addresses. Gadkari has been at the centre of a raging controversy over funding of his firm Purti power and Sugar Ltd with media reports claiming that major investments and large loans to Purti were made by Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when the BJP chief was PWD minister in Maharashtra.
Reports also claimed that shell companies were floated for making investments and their fake addresses were submitted to the Registrar of Companies. On Wednesday, CNN-IBN also accessed details of a shell company associated with Gadkari. Four companies were reportedly found registered to an address in Andheri, Mumbai, that does not exist.
The companies, called Leverage Fintrade, Jasika Mercantile, Strelight Fincom and Regency Equifin were registered to a certain 'Salarsa Society' in Andheri. However, locals said there is no such address. The directors in these companies include Gadkari's accountant Kawdu Zade and two employees of Purti.
CNN-IBN has also accessed documents showing that four of Gadkari's very close aides, including his former driver and accountant, have been directors in at least 26 companies and that too within a period of the past four years. Gadkari's former driver, Manohar Panse was a director in 11 companies between 2009 and 2011. Gadkari's very close aide, Kawdu Zade, has been a director in 16 companies in the same period. Purti employee Nishant Agnihotri has been a director in 13 companies.
A very close aide, Sagar Kotwaliwale has been a director in 9 companies. Like the controversial Purti Sugar and Power Private Ltd. in Nagpur, there are three more companies controlled by the 4 close aides of Gadkari.
The Income Tax department had on Thursday began probe into Gadkari's Purti Power and Sugar Ltd. I-T authorities will probe the source of funds of companies that were invested in Purti.
However, the BJP and RSS have been standing by Gadkari. Top RSS functionaries met on Friday at RSS headquarters in Nagpur to discuss the controversy surrounding Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari's businesses. The RSS has decided to stand by Gadkari, say sources. RSS sources say there is no question of asking Gadkari to step down. "Gadkari is being targeted, we stand by him. We will push for Gadkari's second term as BJP president," RSS sources said.
The BJP has also been standing by Gadkari despite the allegations that hit him and his companies. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Thursday stood by the BJP president, saying he is not running away from media. "The Prime Minister says money does not grow on tree. I would like to tell him that money falls in the pockets of Congress leaders. Gadkari did not run away. He faced media and answered every query," Swaraj said while addressing a public rally in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.
- RSS leaders meet to decide on Gadkari's fate, sources say they stand by him
- Four Gadkari aides were directors in 26 firms