December 17, 2016 8:19:15 pm
As the issue of Robert Vadra’s controversial land deals haunted the Congress again, the party on Saturday termed as “vendetta and witch-hunt” the summoning of a company linked to the son-in-law of its president Sonia Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala claimed officials of Skylight hospitality have visited ED numerous times and supplied them whatever documents required but they have not been able to find anything either against Vadra or his company or associates.
“As part of further vendetta and witch-hunt, BJP government proceeded to refer the matter to ED. Even ED has not been able to find anything,” he claimed.
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The reaction came after the Rajasthan High Court ordered last evening that the representative of Skylight Hospitality will have to appear before ED but allowed the presence of his lawyer “at a reasonable distance” during questioning.
The order came after the company representative had moved the high court challenging the summons issued by the ED to him earlier this year in connection with a land deal in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
Congress claimed that the company has been given “appropriate relief” by the court. “On account of consistent harassment and persecution, a petition for quashing was filed in which appropriate relief has been given to skylight.
“This is one more instance of venal vendetta and severe campaign that BJP continues to unleash guided by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” Surjewala said. He claimed Skylight hospitality has supplied every document asked by it right “from inception of company as also completely unrelated things on purchase of land”.
He also claimed that the land of Mahajan Firing Range was allotted by BJP government in its last tenure when Vasundhara Raje was the Chief Minister. That land was sold twice during the tenure of BJP government and all mutations have been properly entered.
Out of this land, an extremely small portion was purchased by Skylight, which is a third buyer, he said. This lease was finally cancelled as wrongfully allotment by the current BJP government of Vasundhara Raje, he said, adding that two years ago an FIR was lodged by Rajastan Police after investigation.
“The challan has been presented. Neither Robert Vadra nor Skylight, nor anyone associated with him is an accused in the case,” he said.
However, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, who hails from Rajasthan, said, “The law will do its job. I just want to say if a common man would have liked to buy those lands, I am sure they wouldn’t be allowed to do so.”
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Whenever there is been an attack on BJP on their misdoings, they just say ‘this has happened’, and ‘that had happened.’ They are enquiring about it (Vadra) for so many years why are they not able to find anything?.”
The (ED) had issued the notice to the firm under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner in Rajasthan.
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