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Party time for Kejriwal, gloom for UPA?

Will the Congress wriggle out of the maze of allegations against Vadra and Khurshid, or will the 2014 polls tell a different story

Shibangi Das  |  Mumbai 

Somewhere around the time that the Lok Pal movement reached its peak, speculation was rife about crusader and two of his staunchest supporters, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, and retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi floating a political party that would truly uphold the needs of the and eradicate

As ideological differences between the three cropped up, it became clear that their common goals notwithstanding, they wanted to take different paths. On October 3, Kejriwal officially launched himself into with a party which, according to a vision document, will empower people to prepare their own budgets, fight corruption, check price rise and work to implement the direct rule of the people.

Business Standard takes you through the story of Kejriwal after this point, ever since which he has actively been pursuing his agenda of exposing in the country, and more pointedly, in the Congress-led regime. His first target was Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. Second was union Law Minister Salman Khurshid.

Robert Vadra

Oct 5 - Arvind Kejriwal accuses Robert Vadra of buying property worth crores of rupees with an 'unsecured interest free loan' of Rs 65 cr given by DLF.  Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and the Delhi government come up in arms to defend Congress' son-in-law.

Oct 6 - The press and media begin their own investigation into these allegations and uncover details of Vadra's company's purchases from realty major DLF, while the company defends itself, labelling its deals with Vadra transparent. Kejriwal begins his bijli-paani satyagraha to protest against inflated charges for power and water.

Oct 7 - DLF says it gave business to Vadra, and not unsecured loans. In a conversation with Business Standard Kejriwal calls the Vadra-DLF issue 'tip of the iceberg'.

New details of deals between Vadra and DLF come into light. Kejriwal refers to DLF's clarifications half-truths and lies.

Oct 8 - Business Standard probes DLF's deals with Vadra's firm Sky Light. Vadra continues to call allegations against him false. His business associate K Sreenivasan is brought under scanner for possible involvement in the deals under scrutiny.

The markets show loss of faith in DLF, but Finance Minister P Chidambaram rules out any probe into the affair. Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shanta Kumar backs Kejriwal and asks for inquiry into property owned by Priyanka Gandhi.

Oct 9 - Kejriwal becomes the talk of town with some calling him a born politician and others not quite so sure of his style of activism. DLF slips further on the Sensex. BJP finds another reason to pull up the UPA for its 'inaction'.

Oct 10 - Kejriwal continues his attack calling the Haryana government DLF's agent, which are denied vehemently. The Congress changes its defence strategy, letting the 'involved parties' do all the talking.

Oct 11 - The tussle carries on with DLF calling Kejriwal a publicity monger. Meanwhile, Mihir S Sharma raises some interesting questions about the whole affair.

After Kejriwal, a Haryana government official Ashok Khemka cancels a 3.5-acre land mutation in Manesar, threatening to DLF's commercial projects at the site. Realty scrips take a beating in the stock markets.

Oct 12 - N Sundaresha Subramanian digs up prices of the flats in Gurgaon purchased by Vadra. The Haryana government dismisses allegation against itself, saying the deals were conducted by private parties. Four offices of GMR Infrastructure are raided by the Income Tax department when Kejriwal hints at controversial political connections between politicians and certain companies.

Salman Khurshid

Oct 11 - Kejriwal fires a second salvo - claims that an NGO in Uttar Pradesh headed by Law Minister Salman Khurshid siphoned off Rs 71 lakh meant for physically challenged people. Khurshid threatens legal action against Kejriwal.

Oct 12 - An indefinite protest kickstarted by Kejriwal and his associate Manish Sisodia, demanding the arrest of Salman Khurshid end with the arrest of the two. Detained, but determined, Kejriwal asserts his intention to continue his protest.

Oct 13 - Kejriwal, Sisodia and supporters are released from detention but the venue of protest is sealed. A CAG report, which had earlier detected a fraud in a government grant to a trust handled by Khurshid and had demanded a recovery of the full grant amount, substantiates Kejriwal's claims on Khurshid. Veenu Sandhu critically analyses the feasibility of Kejriwal's party.

Oct 14 - Khurshid defends himself on his return to Delhi from abroad and says that he is open to investigation but will not quit.

Oct 15 - The Khurshid saga becomes murkier, with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Digvijay Singh getting dragged into it because of their comments. Kejriwal suspends protest and threatens to take the battle to Khurshid's constituency in Farrukhabad, uttar Pradesh.

Also read:

Feature: Looking the other way on the DLF-Vadra deal

Joydeep Ghosh: Robert Vadra is the least of our problems

Mitali Saran: The battle of the moustaches

Mihir S Sharma: The Gandhi Exception

Shyamal Majumdar: Troublesome sons-in-law

A K Bhattacharya: The other side of reforms




First Published: Wed, October 17 2012. 15:37 IST