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BJP targets Sonia, Rahul over Vadra's land deals, alleges graft

Posted on Apr 27 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, April 27 : In its sharpest attack yet on the Gandhi family, the BJP Sunday accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra of making "unscrupulous" land deals and sought a fair investigation into "corruption under patronage".

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad targeted Sonia Gandhi and her son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over the land deals.

He said they should explain the "Robert Vadra model of development" when "there is so much unemployment and economy was down".

Prasad told a press conference here the BJP was not targeting an individual. "It is a text book case of corruption, crony capitalism under patronage," he said.

Terming Vadra as "damad shri", Prasad said land acquisitions by Vadra's firms had flouted several laws, including the Land Acquisition Act, in Congress-ruled Haryana and in Rajasthan where the party was earlier in power.

"Vadra's land deals have the blessings of Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi," he said.

"Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should explain Vadra's land deals which generated huge profits for him," he added.

The BJP released a video and a booklet on Vadra's land deals. The video made repeated attacks at Vadra and said the people will not forgive the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections.

The video said while there were cases of "bhai bhatijavad (nepotism)", Vadra had added a new tradition of "damadvad (son-in-law favouritism)". "Damad (son-in-law) should prosper even if farmer is destroyed," said a slogan in the video.

The booklet posed several queries to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Vadra's land deals.

BJP sources said the booklet will be distributed in different parts of the country.

In the booklet titled "Damad shree the vadra 'get-rich-quick' model," the BJP alleged that Vadra's company had in 2008 registered purchase of 3.531 acres of land in Gurgaon for Rs.7.5 crore "using a false cheque".

It said Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should come clean on the land deals and posed specific queries to them about the alleged irregularities.

The booklet listed the likely offences allegedly committed by Vadra's firms under various laws, including Prevention of Corruption Act.

"The Congress-ruled states have been reduced to vassals under the Gandhi-Vadra family," the booklet said.

It said an officer in Haryana who handled change in land use and colony licence permissions for nine years was made a member of the Union Public Service Commission after his retirement.

"What considerations weighed in the appointment?" the BJP asked.

The booklet also raised several questions about Vadra's land deal in Rajasthan under the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government.

"He (Vadra) made huge profit of Rs.300 crore in a few years from an initial investment of Rs.1 lakh," Prasad said.

"If an investigation is carried out, there will be criminal cases in Vadra's name," he said.

Prasad's attack Sunday came amid concerted offensive by the Congress on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his Gujarat model of development. Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been hitting out at Modi.

The BJP attack came two days ahead of the April 30 polling for 89 Lok Sabha seats in seven states and two union territories.

Balloting for all 26 seats in Gujarat will also be held April 30. Modi is contesting from Vadodara in the state.

Prasad said the Haryana government accorded speedy clearances to Vadra's firm regarding land use.

Answering queries, Prasad said Rajasthan's BJP government was looking into the allegations concerning Vadra's land deals.

"Nothing will be done out of vendatta. Law will take its own course," he said.

Prasad also asked why Vadra did not go for land acquisitions outside Rajasthan and Haryana in non-Congress ruled states.

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