A man tried to check on a BJP official’s bank account and ended up reviving a row over Rs 2.6 crore that had gone missing from the party’s Ashok Road headquarters in 2008.
The man went to the Andhra Bank branch in Andhra Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday and sought details of the account held by Shyam Jaju, the secretary at the BJP headquarters.
A bank official promptly called up Jaju only to find out that he had not sent anyone to enquire about his account. Jaju sent some persons to quiz the man, who called himself Chandan Jha and claimed to be a TV channel reporter.
Police were informed, but they refused comment.
Jaju confirmed to reporters that the man had indeed gone to check his account but “no cognisable offence had been made out against him”.
The incident caused a flutter at the BJP office about the money that went missing from the vault in the accountant’s office. With new BJP chief Nitin Gadkari trying to overhaul the party, observors saw the incident as a bid to bring the focus on Jaju, who had come under fire for the missing money.
Accountant Nalin Tandon, a full-timer from the RSS who was handling money, had been made the fall guy and asked to hand over charge.
Instead of going to the police, BJP leaders had called in private detectives. When they began to quiz BJP staffers, insiders saw a row between two factions — those close to the RSS and those owing allegiance to then party chief Rajnath Singh. One faction led by Prabhat Jha, the BJP secretary who was close to Rajnath, was said to be gunning for Jaju.
The money, kept in the vault on the evening of December 24, 2008, was found missing on the morning of December 26. The theft looked like an in-house job. All four locks of the vault were found intact. So was the lock of the room. Another Rs 1.5 crore in the vault lay untouched.