DeMo Scam: Nabard denies any irregularity in Ahmedabad bank, where Amit Shah is director

Mumbai/New Delhi: Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), which has BJP president Amit Shah as a director, secured deposits of Rs 745.59 crore of the spiked notes – in just five days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the demonetisation announcement.

Right behind ADCB, is the Rajkot District Cooperative Bank, whose chairman Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya is a Cabinet minister in Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani’s government. It got deposits of old currencies worth Rs 693.19 crore. Interestingly, Rajkot is the hub of Gujarat BJP politics – PM Modi was first elected from there as a legislator in 2001.

“The amount of deposits made in the State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) — revealed under RTI for first time since demonetisation – are astounding,” Manoranjan S. Roy, activist who received the information through an RTI, said.

All the district cooperative banks were banned from accepting deposits of the banned currency notes from the public after November 14, 2016, – five days after demonetisation – on fears that black money would be laundered through this route.

The Congress, on Friday, demanded a probe into reports that notes worth Rs 745.58 crore were deposited in ADCB. However, just before the Congress made the demand, NABARD issued a statement, saying that the average deposit amount in the Ahmedabad DCCB was Rs 46,795 per account holder, which is lower than the average per depositor in 18 DCCBs of Gujarat.

NABARD, or National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, is the country’s apex financing agency for institutions that promote rural development.

“We expect the Prime Minister will himself come forward and give answers on the charges against Amit Shah, whom he has appointed. There should be an independent time-bound probe into this entire scam,” Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

The NABARD statement also said that during the period 1.60 lakh customers of the bank deposited/exchanged demonetised notes worth Rs 746 crore which was only 15% of the total deposits of the bank.

(With agency inputs)