Irani targets Rahul, Priyanka over land deals

#Gandhis, Vadras a testimony of corruption in their dynasties


New Delhi, Mar 13: The BJP Wednesday dragged Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into alleged corruption involving land deals, claiming the opposition party known for "institutionalising" graft, has now come to define "family corruption".
Citing a media report, Union Minister and BJP leader SmritiIrani told reporters that Robert Vadra is "merely a mask" in the controversial land deals and his brother-in-law Rahul Gandhi is the "real face".
Dismissing the allegations, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Facing imminent defeat, Prime Minister NarendraModi and his favourites are resorting to levelling completely baseless and fake allegations".
At a press conference, Irani said, "The country has come to know that the brother-in-law (Rahul) is also involved with his 'jija' (Robert Vadra) in this family package of corruption".
"The facts that have come out in the news indicate how Gandhi-Vadra family has described 'parivarikbrashtachar' (dynastic corruption)," Irani said while referring to a media report highlighting alleged links of Rahul with Bhandari, who is under the radar of probe agencies.
"Sanjay Bhandari, an arms dealer with close links to Robert Vadra is also under investigation for defence deals and his desperate desire to be party to the ill-gotten fruits of corruption during UPA regime," she added.
Sharpening her attack against her Rahul, Smriti said reports have suggested that HL Pahwa was "suitably financed and supported" by CC Thampi, a name that figures in the probe with regard to a petroleum deal under UPA and a financial violation with regard to a land transaction in Delhi-NCR amounting to Rs280 crore.
"The relationship between CC Thampi and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari is publicly known. Hence, the nation has come to a conclusion that Rahul Gandhi's intervention in the defence preparedness of our country stems from his pursuit not only of individual politics but his personal commercial interests, his personal family interests," said Irani.
Referring to the report, Irani claimed that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra 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 Vadra.
Pahwa, she said, was lent money by C CThampi who is "friends" with controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
The BJP leader claimed that 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.
The Congress president should answer about his relations with Pahwa in these land transactions, Irani said.
To a question about Union minister AnanthHegde's controversial comments against the Gandhi family, including Sonia Gandhi, Irani parried the query saying she had not heard his statement but added that she was at the receiving end of the "same team Rahul Gandhi" when it comes to commenting against women.

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