Modi govt continues to aid crony capitalists: Congress

Modi government continues to aid crony capitalists: Congress rakes up Patanjali-Ruchi Soya deal

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged during a press conference that a fresh quid-pro-quo relation has now been unearthed

Representative image. Credit: PTI Photo

The Congress on Wednesday alleged that the Narendra Modi government continues to aid "crony capitalist friends", claiming that there is more to it than what meets eye in the takeover of a debt-ridden company Ruchi Soya that defaulted on loans by Yoga guru Ramdev's Patanjali.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged during a press conference that a fresh quid-pro-quo relation has now been unearthed in the case of Patanjali taking over Ruchi Soya. There was no immediate response from Patanjali or others.

He alleged that SBI was "pressurised" to forward loans to Patanjali for investing in Ruchi Soya. 

Khera claimed that Ruchi Soya had taken Rs 12,146 crore worth of loans from various banks and the SBI had been the largest lender at Rs 1,816 crore. He alleged that SBI could settle only Rs 883 crore (or 43.6 per cent of the total loan) while foregoing Rs 993 crore.

Khera also claimed that Adani Wilmar was also keen to take over Ruchi Soya but after the initial bidding process, it opted out leaving Patanjali as the lone potential bidder, which took over Ruchi Soya for Rs 4,350 crore.

The Congress spokesperson then claimed that Patanjali decided to take loans worth Rs 3,250 crore for the deal and the bulk of it was taken from SBI, which had "already suffered exponential loss" at the hand of the same company. "What is significant to note here is that not only did SBI write off hundreds of crores from the accounts of Ruchi Soya Industries, it went one step further and loaned money amounting to Rs 1,200 crore to Patanjali to fund the purchase of Ruchi Soya Industries," he alleged.

"The prime minister and the government cannot continue to support these capitalists and 'businessmen babas' at the expense of the exchequer and the common man," he claimed.

"Which banking principle allows a bank that had to write off loans of a corporate to fund the buying of the same corporate by issuing more loans? Under whose advice or insistence did SBI continue to fund a firm that was destined to fail from the start?" he asked. 

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