Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Sunday launched a direct attack on the Prime Minister over the ongoing crisis at Yes Bank, as he questioned the PM’s decision to attend a business summit sponsored by the struggling lender.
“… let’s not forget that the same Yes Bank was sponsoring PM Modi’s Global Summit up till March 6, 2020. And please check Mr Rana Kapoor’s statements and comments praising Mr Narender Modi and his acumen,” Singhvi said at a press conference at Congress headquarters.
A day after Yes Bank’s board was superseded by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday, the Prime Minister made an appearance at the Economic Times Global Business Summit as a keynote speaker. According to a news report, Yes Bank’s hoardings were nowhere to be seen on the stage from where the PM delivered his address although it had been advertised as a major sponsor of the event.
Singhvi also lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Information and Technology (IT) Cell head Amit Malviya, who earlier in the day latched on to a news report highlighting that beleaguered Yes Bank’s ex-boss Rana Kapoor had bought a painting of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi from Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in 2010 for a sum of Rs two crore. The portrait of the ex-PM was painted by the artist MF Hussain.
“The entire amount was received in cheque and was fully disclosed in Income Tax return of 2010 by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra,” said Singhvi.
“… and please check Mr Rana Kapoor’s statements and comments praising Mr Narendra Modi and his acumen,” added the Congress leader.
The Rajya Sabha MP further highlighted the steep rise in the loans given by Yes Bank after 2014, wondering how the outstanding loans of the bank could increase from Rs 55,633 Crore in March 2014 to Rs 2,41,499 Crore in March 2019.
“Why did the loan book rise by 100 per cent in two years after demonetisation, from Rs 98,210 crore in March 2016 to Rs 2,03,534 crore in March 2019?” Singhvi also asked.
On its part, the government has claimed that Yes Bank’s was exposed to vulnerable corporate entities dating back to pre-2014 days. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman listed Reliance Group, Essel Group, DHFL, IL&FS and Vodafone Idea as the stressed corporates, as she went on to accuse the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of mismanaging the banking system.
In the wake of Yes Bank’s board being dissolved by the apex bank on March 5, a moratorium was imposed on withdrawal of more than Rs 50,000 barring a few exceptions. Rana Kapoor, the former Managing Director and CEO of Yes Bank, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday morning after hours of questioning. Kapoor has been charged under anti-money laundering laws after being produced at Mumbai court earlier in the day.