The Congress and other opposition parties on Tuesday released a video purportedly showing a “BJP leader” exchanging old notes after demonetisation on a commission of 40 per cent, but did not vouch for the authenticity of the 30-minute footage.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal — accompanied by senior leaders from his party as well those from the RJD, Loktantrik Janata Dal, National Conference and TDP — alleged the video was filmed by some journalists in Ahmedabad.
It shows a person, who Sibal claims is a BJP leader with proximity to the party’s top leaders, exchanging money purportedly after December 31, 2016, the time given by the government to exchange old notes after it demonetised high value notes on November 8 that year.
The amount of money exchanged is Rs 5 crore according to the conversation between the men in the grainy video and a commentary that runs through the footage. However, Sibal did not provide any other proof to support his claims.
Finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley hit back saying, “The ‘Fakery Caravan’ of the UPA continues to move. After a fake BSY Diary, a fake sting. When there are no real issues, rely on ‘fakery’.”
“Was the creator of the London fiasco on the EVMs and the fake UPA sting today the same? Every election needs a few humorous breaks. After the London EVM fiasco, the UPA provided another one today,” Jaitley asked.
Last week, the Congress accused a number of senior BJP leaders of accepting bribes to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore from former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and cited his diary in possession of the Income Tax department to back its claims.
In January, some journalists held a press conference in London claiming that EVMs can be hacked.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Sibal refused to authenticate the video and said a probe into it would be possible only when the Congress government comes to power. He also said nothing can be expected from the present BJP which he alleged was allegedly “involved in the act”.
Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, besides RJD’s Manoj Jha, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav and leaders from the National Conference and Telugu Desam Party were with Sibal at the press conference.
Sibal said the video shows the story behind the decision to bring demonetisation and alleged that “the chowkidar has betrayed and snatched people’s money”.
“This is clearly treason because you are stealing from the state treasury and giving it to the party,” the former union minister alleged, asking “who is the thief and who is the chowkidar”.
He alleged that all this was done at the BJP’s behest, claiming that this is also stated in the video by the purported BJP workers.
“The country went behind and people lost their jobs and many also lost their lives due to note ban and businesses got shut,” Azad alleged.