Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad conducted a press conference on the report published by OpIndia.com exposing the dubious land deals involving Congress President Rahul Gandhi that link him personally to shady arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. The Union Minister also remarked that OpIndia deserved to be complimented for its efforts.
Citing the OpIndia report, Prasad said, “I have seen the Congress party’s reply, it was not expected from it. Buying land is not dubious in itself but who was the land bought from? That is important. And why were the lands brought from the same person? That is also very important.” He also said that Rahul Gandhi was involved in the dubious land deals of Robert Vadra.
The Law Minister cited other land deals of the Nehru-Gandhi Parivar as well to attack the Congress party. He said, “If there’s a particular land rate that the Congress party has claimed, then how is it and why is it that the land purchased by Priyanka ji on the 24th of April, 2006 for Rs. 15 lakhs, she sold it after 3 years 10 months at a high price of Rs. 84.14 lakhs?”
Prasad also asserted that C.C. Thampi and Sanjay Bhandari are the other prominent figures in the story. He said, “Sanjay Bhandari was the middleman of Airbus. And Airbus manufactures Eurofighter. The Eurofighter was in competition with the Rafale jet. The allegations that have been levelled against the Rafale deal by Rahul Gandhi are not based on evidence, all these allegations are being levelled because Rahul Gandhi has links with Sanjay Bhandari.” He added, “Eurofighter was not successful in getting the tender, that’s why a campaign is being run against Rafale. I say with all degrees of earnestness that this whole campaign against Rafale is not a fair, appropriate or a reasonable campaign but a malafide campaign.”
The Union Minister squarely blamed Rahul Gandhi’s links with Sanjay Bhandari for his campaign against Rafale. “A campaign based on fiction and lies, why? Because Sanjay Bhandari who had the blessings of the family and who was a conduit for Eurofighter could not tilt the scale in favour of Eurofighter,” he said.
He stated further, “Sanjay Bhandari also attempted to become an offsets partner in the Rafale deal but wasn’t successful.” He added, “Everywhere, two factors are common. Seller: H.L. Pahwa, Purchaser: Robert Vadra, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi. Robert Vadra has more purchases.”
Yesterday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had cited OpIndia’s report in his blog to slam the Nehru-Gandhi Parivar. Smriti Irani, the probable BJP candidate for the BJP against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, had conducted a press conference on the report as well where she had claimed that, for the Parivar, corruption comes in a family package.