Five days after a huge sum of money, said to be Rs 2.6 crore, went missing for its headquarters, the BJP sought to play down the incident that could intensify the ongoing tussle between two factions for the control of election funds.
The BJP leadership on Tuesday asked treasurer Ramdas Aggarwal to carry out "a reconciliation of all accounts" to verify if there was a theft.
As the party saw it as an “insider’s job” and result of a factional fight, accountant Nalin Tandon, an RSS man, was asked to hand over charge to another person even as spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad described media reports as "exaggerated".
He said Aggarwal, a Member of Parliament, would also tally accounts with the details of expenditure incurred during the recent assembly polls. “We’re checking receipts and payments. Until that is completed, I can’t say whether any sum has gone missing,” Aggarwal said.
The money was part of the contributions made by the state units and went missing either on way or after reaching the office, a party official said.
The party decided against going to the police as the amount would be hard to explain, and sought the help of private detectives. The questioning of the staff intensified tussle between two groups out to purge each other from the set-up.
The faction led by Prabhat Jha, BJP secretary who is attached to Rajnath Singh, is gunning for Shyam Jaju, headquarter in-charge.
Jha is backed by a senior RSS leader Suresh Soni. Jaju, posted at the instance of Sangh Number 3 Madan Das Devi, also has the support of Ramlal Aggarwal, BJP general secretary for organization. Apparently, accountant Tandon had differences with Jaju over a pay hike for the staff. Jaju has been accused of being soft on employees accused of irregularities.
The issue, which is likely to figure during the BJP-RSS meeting on January 2, has put a question mark on the party’s Nagpur conclave.