The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday launched a relay hunger strike in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, demanding justice to the victims of the multi-crore AgriGold scam. Besides state party president Kanna Lakshmi Narayana, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao were also present at the strike.
Addressing the gathering, Lakshmi Narayana said that the BJP stood with the victims of the scam and lashed out at the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for denying justice to the people by delaying the compensation process.
Pointing out that the families affected by the scam continue to suffer, Lakshmi Narayana said, "The properties of the company has already been attached. Ministers themselves have made false promises and assurances that they would disburse the compensation quickly but failed to do so. They are yet to even arrest all the accused in the case."
Alleging that the state government had failed in its investigation process as well as in compensating the victims, the BJP demanded a CBI inquiry.
Last week, the state unit of the BJP said that it would stage protests and demand justice for the victims of the scam. Stating that the state government did not resolve the issue despite repeated orders from the Hyderabad High Court, the state BJP chief also said that he would write to the Centre demanding a CBI enquiry.
Claiming that the state government was unwilling to resolve the issue at hand as they wanted to get their hands on some of the properties belonging to AgriGold, Lakshmi Narayana said that he planned to take up the issue with the central government.
Around 3.2 million people in many states, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, were duped by the AgriGold scam, which came to light in 2014. AgriGold owes Rs 6,380 crore to over 32 lakh depositors in nine states, with Andhra Pradesh leading the list with 19 lakh depositors.
The company lured several lakh customers with the promise that their investment would be returned to them with higher returns. The company allegedly took this money and invested heavily in real-estate, before branching out to other areas as well, and finally duping the customers.