National

Vadra land deal: BJP steps up attack on Cong

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 09, 2014 Published on October 09, 2014

Says poll panel has not been fully apprised of facts





A day after the Election Commission (EC) declared that there was no violation of the moral code of conduct in land deals involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in poll-bound Haryana, the BJP stepped up its attack.

The party fielded Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to assert that the Congress Government in Haryana had deliberately suppressed facts related to deals in its submissions to the EC.

“The Congress has started celebrating just because the EC has held there is no violation of the moral code of conduct. That in itself does not validate the land deals. Moreover, and I say this with the utmost sense of responsibility, the full facts of the case were not presented to the EC,” Prasad said.

Quoting from the EC order in this regard, the Minister said the report of the Financial Commissioner and the Principal Secretary to the Haryana Government is misleading.

“The report states that the decision on the request for renewal and transfer of licence in favour of DLF Ltd is pending in the Department since October 2012 for want of clarification regarding the issue of ownership,” Prasad said while reading from the EC’s order.

“The Financial Commissioner has also stated that no action has been taken by this officer on the subject after the moral code of conduct came into force on September 12, 2014,” he added.

Order negated

These facts, Prasad said, are in total contrast with a decision of the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner.

The Minister said while the Haryana Government pleaded before the EC that “the decision on the request for renewal and transfer of license in favour of DLF Ltd is pending”, the Deputy Commissioner’s order makes it clear that the request for renewal and transfer of licence in favour of DLF Ltd had been conceded.

He said this order negated another order passed by a superior officer, the well-known Ashok Khemka, who had annulled the deal.

“There are various questions with regard to the order of the Deputy Commissioner. First of all, the fact that the request was not pending but had been acceded to was not revealed to the EC.

“Secondly, how could a junior officer negate the order of a senior officer? Most importantly, why was the EC not apprised of this order,” said Prasad.

The fact is, said the Minister, the Congress Government in Haryana knows that it is not coming back to power.

“And so, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has decided to give a parting gift to his party president whose son-in-law’s company Skylight Hospitality is involved in this deal,” said Prasad.

Similar case

On a similar case of land transfers in Rajasthan, where the BJP is in power, Prasad said a preliminary inquiry has resulted in an FIR and four officials have been suspended.

However, the BJP seemed to stop short of launching a full-scale investigation against Vadra.

“All enquiries will be fair and impartial. So far as a CBI inquiry is concerned, it is launched only on the request of a state government or a court order. So far, this is not the case,” said Prasad.

Published on October 09, 2014
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