In the four days that have passed since the publication of The Wire's article on the proliferation of Jay Shah's businesses, the publication and the journalist have been sued for Rs 100 crore by the BJP president's son, Congress has jumped on the revelations demanding immediate probe and several union ministers have issued statements in defence of the Shahs.
On Thursday, Amit Shah spoke to Aaj Tak and claimed that his son's businesses are completely legitimate. NDTV reports that Shah told the channel that his son has not done any business with the government. He also added, "If you have documents to prove your allegations, bring them to court."
Based on documents filed by Shah with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), The Wire had reported: "Company balance sheets and annual reports obtained from the RoC reveal that in the financial years ending March 2013 and 2014, Shah's Temple Enterprise Private Ltd. engaged in negligible activity and recorded losses of Rs 6,230 and Rs 1,724 respectively. In 2014-15, it showed a profit of Rs 18,728 on revenues of only Rs 50,000 before jumping to a turnover of Rs 80.5 crore in 2015-16."
Rejecting suggestions that there was any money laundering involved, Shahtold Aaj Tak: "The business was of commodity trade which is a high value low profit venture. If a company's turnover becomes Rs. 1 crore, its profit does not become Rs. 1 crore...It is unfair to say there was an over 16,000 times jump in profit...say what the turnover was...It makes it seem like the turnover was huge but it wasn't."
Recently, Dattatreya Hosabale, the RSS joint general secretary told reporters at a press conference that if that all charges of corruption must be investigated, but first, prima facie evidence of wrongdoing must be furnished. The Indian Express reports that when he was asked whether there was enough prima facie evidence against Shah, Hosabale replied that it was up to the accusers to prove that there was.
Scroll reports that Hosabale's comments came after it was decided in a high-level meeting in Madhya Pradesh. Scroll reports: "This was not an off-the-cuff remark. It followed a high-level meeting on Wednesday evening in Bhopal at which where select office-bearers of the RSS discussed the matter for almost two hours , people privy to the discussions said." The report added that the reason the communications chief of RSS Manmohan Vaidya didn't issue a statement and Hosabale did, was because the RSS wanted someone with considerable clout to voice it's opinion on the issue, so that both the BJP and the Centre took note of it.