NEW DELHI — The Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), which counts Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah as a director, was the repository for the largest number of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in the aftermath of demonetisation, according to information received under the Right to Information Act by Mumbai-based activist Manoranjan Roy.
The ADCB received deposits worth Rs 745.59 crore in demonetised notes, closely followed by the Rajkot District Cooperative Bank (RDCB), which received Rs 693.19 crore. RDCB is chaired by Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya, a cabinet minister in Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's BJP-run government.
Opposition law-makers have seized upon the news to question the motives behind demonestisation — which was supposed to reduce corruption according to its architect, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congratulations Amit Shah ji , Director, Ahmedabad Dist. Cooperative Bank, on your bank winning 1st prize in the conversion of old notes to new race. 750 Cr in 5 days!— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 22, 2018
Millions of Indians whose lives were destroyed by Demonetisation, salute your achievement. #ShahZyadaKhaGayapic.twitter.com/rf1QaGmzxV
The poor could not get their demonetised notes exchanged, more than 100 died in queues for their own hard-earned money. But Shri Amit Shah ji's bank had the maximum currency exchanged after notebandi. Saaf Niyat or Sahi Neeyat, now? #NoteScampic.twitter.com/ynBLDzItQ0— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) June 22, 2018
The news, first reported by IANS, was initially published by many news outlets only for many of them to take down the article without explanation.
The significant amount of money deposited in two rural banks, with politically influential directors, has revived concerns that rural cooperative banks across the country were used to launder large amounts of unaccounted wealth in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation.
"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, the RTI activist told IANS.
HuffPost India has reached out to Roy, the RTI activist, and has written to the Ahmedabad Bank District Cooperative Bank and will update the story once they respond.