October 9th, 2012

Vadra-DLF deals: No probe unless specific charge, says FM

NEW DELHI: As Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra finds himself embroiled in controversy over his “mounting immovable assets,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday made it plain, “unless there is specific allegation of quid pro quo, government cannot inquire into private deals”.
Earlier, reacting to social activist-turned-politicians Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan’s charges levelled against Vadra,  Chidambaram on Saturday had said that from the information he had gathered, the transactions had been disclosed in the appropriate income tax and other returns. “I’m not aware of the rightness or wrongness of these allegations. Transactions between two private individuals cannot be questioned on the basis of certain imputed or implied act of corruption,”  Chidambaram added.
India Against Corruption’s Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan had last week alleged that realty major DLF had favoured  Vadra in some property deals.
Kejriwal and  Bhushan alleged that  Vadra had bought properties worth over Rs 300 crore between 2007 and 2010 with an interest-free unsecured loan of Rs 65 crore provided by DLF.
They claimed that the properties were given at undervalued rates in exchange of favours allegedly received from Congress state governments in Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Meanwhile, Robert Vadra on Monday closed his Facebook account after his message about the anti-corruption activism in the country evoked a strong reaction, sources said.
After  Vadra had reportedly written on his Facebook page “Mango people in banana republic”, social activist Arvind Kejriwal said he should apologise for calling India a ‘banana republic’.
The Facebook status update came two days after the Indian Against Corruption (IAC) alleged that he had indulged in real-estate corruption.
Immediately thereafter,  Vadra deactivated his Facebook account, the sources said.
IAC member Kumar Vishwas demanded that  Vadra apologise for ‘insulting’ the nation.
“DLF granted favours to Robert Vadra. What favors did Haryana Govt grant DLF? How is DLF reply a bunch of lies? Will speak tomo (tomorrow) at 5pm,” social activist Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
“Evidence pouring in from mango men from across the country.
Mango men wud prove to be nemesis for the powerful,” he tweeted.
On Friday,  Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan alleged that DLF gave properties, currently valued at around Rs 500 crore, to  Vadra at grossly undervalued rates in exchange for favours it allegedly received from Congress state governments in Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
However,  Vadra and DLF refuted all charges.

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