Rahul demands minister Piyush Goyal's exit over biz deals

Rahul demands minister Piyush Goyal's exit over biz deals

Stepping up attack on Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi flagged “deceit, conflict of interest and greed” in the sale of his stock in Flashnet Info Solutions at an inflated price.

“Piyush Goyal's, 48 Crore FlashNet Scam is about deceit, conflict of interest and greed. The evidence is on the table,” Gandhi said on Twitter and demanded his resignation as minister.

Gandhi also ruled that the media had not touched the story. “It is a tragedy for our country when journalists entrusted to stand for the truth, will not speak,” he said.

Goyal hit back at Gandhi, borrowing the 'kaamdaar-naamdaar' phrase used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the campaign trail in Karnataka.

“Unlike you, Mr Rahul Gandhi, I have not learnt well the art of living without working. I am also a 'kaamdaar' (worker) and not a 'naamdaar' (dynast),” Goyal said, asserting that he was a professional Chartered Accountant and investment banker before becoming a Union Minister.

Gandhi alleged that Goyal had sold his stock of Flashnet Info Solutions to Piramal group, which has interests in the power sector, at 1,000 times the face value.

Conflict of interest?

The Congress President also alleged that this happened when Goyal was the minister of state for power.

Earlier, Congress had raised the issue of Flashnet Info Solutions and presented documents detailing the sale of the entire stock of 50,020 shares owned by Goyal and his wife Seema Goyal to Piramal Estates Pvt Ltd at a price of Rs 9,586 per share, totalling Rs 48 crore. The Congress claimed that the pricing was 1,000 times the book value.

However, the BJP defended the Goyals saying that the sale of Flashnet shares took place in July 2014, much before the declaration of assets and liabilities submitted on July 25, 2014, and not on September 29, 2014 as claimed by the Congress.