Congress rejects Kejriwal's fresh charge, questions authenticity
The Congress Party on Tuesday rubbished and rejected social activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal's fresh charge that there was a huge nexus between the Haryana Government, India's biggest realtor DLF and Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
Senior Congress leader and party spokesman Rashid Alvi described Kejriwal's press conference as a "publicity stunt", and questioned the veracity and authenticity of the documents that he was flagging in the public domain.
"There is nothing new in what he (Arvind Kejriwal) has said, he does all this to gain publicity," said Alvi, while also rejecting Kejriwal's demand for a SIT probe into the alleged corrupt land deals involving the above three.
Alvi further said and asked "Kejriwal does this for publicity. Who knows if these documents are authentic or not? Have they approached the Haryana Government for issuing a White Paper?
"We are against corruption, we act against it. They (Team Kejriwal) are only making wild allegations against a Gandhi family member for publicity," Alvi added.
Giving the Bharatiya Janata Party's reaction to Kejriwal's latest salvo against the Gandhi family, DLF, the Central Government, the Haryana Government and the Congress Party, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman slammed the government and the Congress Party for stonewalling efforts to probe Vadra's links to or with DLF and the Haryana Government
Questioning Vadra's links with DLF, Sitaraman said the Congress and the Government has been known to stonewall on these investigations in the past as well, and demanded a free, fair and impartial probe in the matter.
"Situation is getting murkier, we demand a comprehensive investigation," said Sitaraman on Robert Vadra.
Earlier this evening, Kejriwal termed the deals between Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and DLF to be illegal, and stood by his accusations against both of them.
Kejriwal also alleged that there is a nexus between the Haryana Government and DLF, one of India's largest realtors.
"The DLF is giving loads of favours to Vadra. How did Vadra's wealth jump from 50 lakhs to 300 crores in five years? We were asked how the Haryana government benefited DLF. We are not an investigating agency. But the people of this country sent us evidence and we are presenting that today. There is a nexus between the Haryana Government and DLF. Punjab and Haryana High Court said that there is malafide nexus," said Kejriwal, while reading out from a Haryana and Punjab High Court document, which reportedly mentions the Haryana Government and the DLF as tied in some sort of a nexus.
"30 acres in Gurgaon was meant for hospital. Instead, the Haryana Government on March 9, 2007 allowed DLF to build an SEZ here instead. People, whose land was acquired, went to court, and it cancelled the SEZ. 'Power of acquisition has been used for colourable purpose'- High Court verdict said this. The court said in another case also, land had been wrongly given by the state (Haryana) to DLF. Offices are tilted in favour of showering favours on DLF - the court verdict had said," he added.
Kejriwal accused the Haryana Government of manipulating the bidding process, and said that 350-acre land worth Rs. 17,000 crores was given to DLF.
"The Haryana Government wanted to give 30 acres of land meant for hospital to DLF. Vadra got 50 percent stakes in DLF's SEZ Company. Vadra sold 50 percent stakes in DLF's SEZ Company after one year. The Haryana Government manipulated the bidding process. 350-acre land worth Rs. 17,000 crores was given to DLF," he added.
Kejriwal said the farmers were paid 20 lakhs per acre- and DLF got it for Rs. five crore.
"Robert Vadra bought 25,000 shares - and sold them back to DLF in one year. In this one-year, we need to see what benefits DLF got. Haryana Government says there was an international bid. But while opening the technical bid - new conditions were imposed and bids from Unitech and Country Heights were not opened. But we have come to know they were much higher than DLF. Of 350 acres, 75 acres belonged to HUDA - which was acquired from farmers for making roads between sectors 42-54 and 43-53...and all that land was given to DLF," he added.
Kejriwal also criticized Finance Minister P. Chidambaram over his remark that Robert Vadra has disclosed all his transactions.
Chidambaram yesterday rejected the demands for a probe against Vadra, saying the investigation can't be done unless there is specific allegation.
"We can't probe private deals without specific allegations or quid pro quo," he said.
Chidambaram had earlier on Saturday said Vadra has disclosed all his transactions, and added that the transactions between two private individuals cannot be questioned on the basis of some imputed or implied act of corruption.
Kejriwal had earlier on Friday levelled serious allegations against Vadra, and said his wealth increased from Rs.50 lakh to over Rs.300 crore within three years.
Addressing a press conference along with former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and Supreme Court lawyer and IAC activist Prashant Bhushan, Kejriwal said Vadra received kickbacks from DLF.
Kejriwal claimed that they have evidence to show that Vadra received kickbacks from DLF.
DLF has clarified that the business dealings with Robert Vadra were completely transparent.
In a statement, DLF rejected the allegations that it had given unsecured loans to Vadra as a 'quid pro quo' for favours and said it had transparent dealing with him as an individual entrepreneur.
The company had said it had given Rs.65 crore as 'business advances' out of which Rs.15 crore was fully refunded and Rs.50 crore was used for purchase of land.