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BJP, Cong trade charges over land deals involving Rahul, Priyanka

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The BJP Wednesday questioned land deals involving and to allege the has come to define "family corruption", even as the opposition party termed the charges "baseless" and an attempt to divert attention from "rampant joblessness" and "agrarian crisis".

and Union minister cited a media report on land deals allegedly in favour of the and his sister, who is also a party general secretary, claiming that the country has come know that not only the "jija" (Robert Vadra) but his was involved in this "family package of corruption".

Referring to the report, Irani told a press conference that purchased land in a deal involving H L Pahwa, who was raided by the Enforcement Directorate, and Mahesh Kumar Nagar, who also had a role in land transaction involving Robert

"Investigation has revealed that C C Thampi had funded this land deal involving Pahwa and Gandhi. The people of the country will know that Thampi is also being probed. Thampi's friendship with Robert and is well known," she said.

Irani alleged that Thampi and Bhandari were linked to defence and petroleum deals during the UPA rule.

Responding to the allegation, Congress' asked why had the BJP not probed the deal in the last five years if there there was wrongdoing.

He claimed that facing "imminent defeat in the 2019 general elections, and finding no answer to the rampant joblessness, agrarian crisis, economic slowdown, all-pervading corruption and social unrest, a frustrated and its perpetually peeved Union ministers like Smriti Irani, have lost their balance and equilibrium".

and Irani were making "completely baseless" charges to divert attention from real issues such as "rampant joblessness" and "agrarian crisis", he told a press conference.

"The and his favourite minister are resorting to levelling completely baseless and false allegations," the claimed, adding the BJP wants to divert people's attention from real issues.

"Smriti ji has got so blinded by her desire for revenge against Rahul Gandhi along with her mentor that she is resorting to fake and false allegations as a diversionary tactic to give cover fire to the But they are never going to succeed," he said.

In her remarks, Irani said is "merely a mask" in the controversial land deals and his Rahul Gandhi is the "real face".

The Congress should answer about his relations with Pahwa in these land transactions, Irani said, adding the opposition party was known for "institutionalising corruption" and has now come to define "family corruption".

The BJP also alleged that Rahul Gandhi's opposition to a defence deal, an apparent reference to the Rafale transaction, was due to his "financial and family" interests as he wanted a rival company to bag the contract.

Rejecting the charges against the Congress president, Surjewala said on March 3, 2008, Rahul Gandhi purchased 6.456 acres of land in Hassanpur Village, district,

The land was bought for a total price of Rs 26,47,000, that was paid for by cheque, which is the equivalent of Rs 4,10,006 per acre, he said.

On July 26, 2012, Rahul Gandhi gifted the 6.4 acres of land to Vadra through a gift deed, registered in the office of sub-registrar. They also paid stamp duty of Rs 1,93,700 on the registered gift deed, Surjewala said.

Vadra on August 12, 2014, gifted the land to Vipassana Sadhna Sansthan, a not-for-profit spiritual organisation.

Purchase of land was done by Rahul Gandhi out of his own funds paid from his At no point of time, this purchase of a small piece of land and consequent gift to a spiritual organisation has any connection with any individual, Surjewala clarified.

About Irani's claim regarding the defence deal, Surjewala said it was the UPA that had shortlisted only one company -- -- for awarding the 126 fighter jet contract.

So there was no question of any other firm coming into the picture, the Congress leader said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 20:06 IST