Real estate giant DLF Saturday denied that it had given an interest-free,unsecured loan of Rs 65 crore to Robert Vadra,son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi,and sold him apartments and shares in property at throwaway prices in quid pro quo transactions for favours from Congress governments in Haryana,Delhi and Rajasthan.
The denial came a day after Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan of India Against Corruption alleged that Vadra had amassed properties worth Rs 300 crore with seed money of just Rs 50 lakh through a series of suspicious transactions with DLF. Finance Minister P Chidambaram too defended Vadra saying transactions between two private individuals cannot be questioned on the basis of implied corruption.
But Kejriwal stuck to his guns and challenged the Congress to prove him wrong. I am ready to face defamation charges if the allegations against Robert Vadra are proven wrong. Why is the Congress silent on the merits of the case? Kejriwal said. Anna Hazare lent his support to Kejriwal and demanded a judicial probe into the allegations. Vadra could sue Kejriwal if the allegations are proven false,Hazare said.
In a point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations,DLF said in a statement that it had not been allotted any land by the governments of Haryana,Delhi and Rajasthan. Payments that Vadras Skylight group made for a stake in the Saket Hilton Hotel were in accordance with the net enterprise value of that property that also included debts of Rs 80 crore and not at grossly undervalued rates as alleged by Team Kejriwal,it said.
The Rs 65 crore that Vadra had received from DLF was not a loan,the company said,but business advances for two plots of land – 3.5 acres plot just off NH 8 in Village Sikohpur,Gurgaon and another in Faridabad – that Skylight Hospitality offered to DLF.
The allegation that 7 apartments in Magnolias were sold for Rs 5.2 crore only is also completely baseless. At NO stage was a property ever sold to the Skylight group below the then offered price to all customers, DLF said,adding that there were no black money transactions in its deals with Vadra or his firms.
In Mumbai,Chidambaram said he was not aware of the rightness or wrongness of the allegations when asked if the government would probe the allegations. All I can say at this moment is that these allegations pertain to two private persons or entities and what I gather from the media is that the individual has disclosed all the transactions in his income tax and other returns. Now transactions between two private individuals cannot be questioned on the basis of some imputed or implied act of corruption, the finance minister said.
Vadra himself broke his silence on Saturday and said he can handle the negativity. Thanks so much for your concern. I am fine and can handle all the negativity. (I have) Lost people I loved,what can be worse? Vadra,husband of Priyanka Gandhi,posted on his Facebook page.