April 24, 2022 5:59:19 pm
The Congress Sunday hit out at the BJP government accusing it of indulging in “political vendetta” and questioned the credibility of Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor after he told the Enforcement Directorate that he was “forced” to buy an M F Husain painting from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the sale proceeds were utilised by the Gandhi family for the treatment of Sonia Gandhi in New York.
Rana’s statement is part of the chargesheet filed by the central agency in a special court in Mumbai. The Congress party did not deny the transaction between Rana and Priyanka Gandhi but argued it happened 12 years ago. Besides, the party said that Rana is called a “crook” and a “fraudster” and whether the statement by such a person who is yearning for freedom from jail has any credibility. It said he may have given the statement under pressure.
“This is absolutely astonishing and…it is almost disgusting that a 2010 transaction….a person who is behind bars for years…whose 20-30 bail applications have been rejected, who is called a crook and a fraudster, makes allegations about dead people and the government is jumping with joy only because it suits their political angle. They want to keep the pot boiling for 2022 regarding a transaction of 2010 when neither Murli Deora is here to deny it nor Ahmed Patel sadly is here to deny it,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
The Congress leader said the government is trying to scare the party. “They are trying to create a fear psychosis to scare people, to do political vendetta. They should know better than that. At least spare the dead, at least don’t defame people like Deora and Patel so casually,” Singhvi said.
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The Congress leader was referring to Kapoor’s statement to the ED that he was told by the then petroleum minister Murli Deora that the refusal to buy the M F Husain painting will prevent him from building a relationship with the Gandhi family as well as from getting the Padma Bhushan—the country’s the third-highest civilian award. The Yes Bank co-founder also told the agency that Ahmed Patel, the late close confidante of Sonia Gandhi, had told him that by supporting the Gandhi family, he had performed a good deed and he will be duly considered for the Padma Bhushan.
“First and foremost…by your strategic, planned leaks to godi media…do you think the credibility of someone behind the bars as one of the master fraudsters of India supposedly…said by the government, not by us…he gains credibility and truth. What is the object of this? Is it the result of your pressure tactics and coercion on a person behind bars eager to get his freedom to record statements against political opponents and to keep a 12-year-old thing boiling just for the convenience of politics,” he asked.
“You took no action till you are being crushed in jail by coercive methods by this government to come up with this statement in this manner. We all know the credibility of the ED and more than that the credibility of the person accused in this case who is supposed to have made this statement,” Singhvi said.
He also spoke about an increase in loans in the loan book of Yes Bank between 2014 and 2019.
“In March 2014, the loan book of Yes Bank was Rs 55,000 crores. In 2019 March, five years later, it had increased 5 times to 2.41 lakh crores…under your nose or my nose. The loan book of Yes Bank also showed a very dramatic increase between two other dates which are very inconvenient for the Modi government about which neither the Prime Minister nor the government talks about at all anymore. In March 2016, it was Rs 98,000 crores. And in March 2018, it became 2.03 lakh crore…more than double. Demonetisation happened in November 2016. Because of and after demonetisation it increased within one year to double,” he claimed.
Singhvi also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed a conference sponsored by the Yes Bank in Delhi on March 6, 2020. “It was after the RBI moratorium..anticipating a run on the bank. Most importantly, who invested Rs 2,500 crore as government money into Yes Bank accounts-the Haryana government. Rs 1,000 crore on behalf of the Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam and another Rs 1,000 crore by the government of Haryana. All put into a sinking bank. This is the great sinking bank into which BJP governments are putting money,” he said.
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