New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday demanded the removal of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani over the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) slapping a fine on his firm for alleged manipulative share trade.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also took a dig at the ruling party on the issue, saying the revelation "was another tale of 'na khaoonga, na khane doonga'".
He was referring to prime minister Narendra Modi's promise of not allowing corruption under his watch.
Referring to allegations against BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jay Shah and NSA Ajit Doval's son Shaurya Doval, Gandhi said the case involving Rupani's entity belonged to the series of irregularities. Both Jay Shah and Shaurya Doval have denied the allegations against them.
"Na Khaoonga, na khane doonga ki kahani; Shah-zada, Shaurya aur ab Vijay Rupani (the tale of not allowing corruption; Shah-zada, Shaurya and now Vijay Rupani)," Gandhi tweeted.
Another Congress leader, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, accused Modi of being tight-lipped on the issue involving Rupani. He asked the prime minister to come clear whether the BJP would face the coming Gujarat Assembly polls under a chief minister fined by the capital market regulator.
Gujarat is going to poll in two phases on December 9 and December 14.
Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who accompanied Singh, said the SEBI had given Rupani "repeated opportunities" to reply to its notices before it fined the firm concerned.
Surjewala claimed Rupani refused to reply to the notice a couple of times.
"Then the chief minister said he is on bed rest for six months. Very interesting! The chief minister of Gujarat tells SEBI he is on bed rest...after a few notices and a proceeding that has gone on for close to two years, the SEBI has proceeded to indict him," he added.
According to media reports, the SEBI charged 22 entities, including Rupani's Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), for "manipulative trade" in a little-known company, Saran Chemicals. The HUF has been asked to cough up Rs 15 lakh.
The Securities Appellate Tribunal's (SAT) order published on its website on Thursday, however, said that the SEBI will pass a fresh order in the case of alleged manipulative share trade involving Rupani's HUF and 21 others.
In its order, the SAT said "SEBI shall pass fresh order after giving an opportunity of hearing to all the parties".
The tribunal has "set aside" the penalty order, dated October 27, after hearing an appeal filed by Akash Harishbhai Desai, one of the 22 entities penalized by the regulator for alleged manipulative trading in the shares of Saran Chemicals Ltd during the January-June 2011 period.
The individual penalty amount was varied for entities and was Rs 15 lakh in the case of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) of Rupani, who took over as the chief minister in August 2016 and is currently heading BJP's campaign for the state's two-phase assembly polls.