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Purti Group Scam: Nitin Gadkari reaches New Delhi for talks with BJP leaders

New Delhi, Oct. 26 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari arrived in national capital New Delhi late on Friday evening, even as the party brass was reportedly huddled in meetings to decide its future course in the wake of allegations of corruption linked to the Purti Group, which he once ran.

Unconfirmed reports said that the top brass of the BJP will be meeting at Gadkari’s residence to decide on the next course of action to be taken. There is speculation that the party may opt for appointing an interim president till Gadkari is cleared of all charges of impropriety.

Gadkari had been away in Nagpur attending RSS-related functions, even as his name was being mudied by the media over the activities of the Purti Group.

Gadkari’s arrival in Delhi came even as the RSS said today that it has nothing to do with the controversy surrounding BJP chief.

Issuing a statement on the controversy the RSS said it is saddened by the efforts to drag the organisation into the row.

Earlier, RSS leaders led by Mohan Bhagwat and Bhaiyya Joshi apparently advised Gadkari to hold on. On his part, he too would rather dig in his heels, put up a “brave front” to fend off charges against him till any official probe actually established his guilt.

However, evidence is emerging to suggest that Gadkari may have loaned money to firms which invested into Purti Power and Sugar Limited.

The income tax department has joined the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in looking at the funding of the company founded by the BJP president.

There are also indications that the Enforcement Directorate may examine the possibility of launching a probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act if further evidence of forgery emerges and an FIR is registered.

So far, it has been revealed that more than 100 companies could be behind the two dozen firms which have been key investors in Purti Group, bringing in amounts ranging from a few lakhs to a few crores in what constituted the first layer of the baffling maze of investments.

Many of the 100 companies, spread all over India, were being managed by Gadkari’s aides for a couple of years or so.

Documents filed with the Registrar of Companies reveal another mystifying pattern, that of Gadkari himself lending money as unsecured loans to companies which invested into Purti.

The transactions have triggered suspicion among investigating agencies of round-tripping and money laundering. Sources in the IT department said a report would be submitted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes shortly.

Sources said the investigators will now also look at other violations such as forgery.

In many instances, details of directors, addresses of companies that have invested in Purti group have already turned out to be bogus. Sources said if cases of forgery were lodged, those could lead to investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. (ANI with inputs)