BJP hits out at Congress over alleged financial irregularities by Vadra
The BJP Friday alleged that Robert Vadra had put pressure on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for revocation of an Income Tax department order penalising a company that gave a loan to another entity to buy his land in Rajasthan.
Dubbing Vadra a "tained son-in-law", BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that in 2010, Vadra's Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd had bought 70 hectares of land for nearly Rs 70 lakh and sold it to another entity, Allegeny Finlease Pvt Ltd, in 2012 for Rs 5.15 crore, "seven times the original cost".
Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BSPL) gave an unsecured loan of Rs 5.64 crore to Allegeny Finlease for buying the same land, he claimed.
"BSPL wrote to the Settlement Commission of the IT (Income Tax) department appealing against the order, which said the company has to pay Rs 500 crore. The commission also granted no immunity to BSPL against prosecution and penalty," the BJP spokesperson told reporters here.
The Settlement Commission reconstituted a bench that rescinded the earlier order and had asked the company to pay Rs 500 crore, he claimed.
"As Bhushan Steel had given money for buying a plot of land from Robert Vadra, he put pressure on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to ask the Income Tax department to waive the penalty and save BSPL from punishment. It is a clear case of corruption," Patra said.
"This is case of quid pro quo between Skylight Hospitality, Allegeny Finlease and Bhushan Steel," Patra said, alleging that unaccounted money has been by misusing the powers.
Patra also targeted former prime minister Manmohan Singh and dubbed him a "puppet PM" for overlooking the "corruption" during his time.
He also asked, "How much did the Gandhis benefit (from this deal)?"
Targeting Vadra, the BJP leader said his modus operandi is to buy land at a cheaper price, change the utility of the land and then sell it at a rate several times the original cost.
When asked what his party did as it was in power both in Rajasthan as well as the Centre, Patra said, the BJP governments investigated the case.
"We came to power in 2013-2014. We investigated it. The whole ball started moving since 2015. In early 2015, we had an FIR registered in Rajasthan against the Bikaner land allotment of Mr Robert Vadra.
"Thereafter, the whole thing is moving smoothly according to the law. The ED (Enforcement Directorate) had talked about the whole thing in 2016. In 2017, notices were issued and people were arrested in 2017. In 2018, the settlement commission issue had been taken up and yet again you see how the ED is moving ahead," Patra said.
(With inputs from agencies.)