Robert Vadra was given 50% stake in this SEZ, which he sold back a year later to DLF. "What role did he play in that one year when DLF SEZ was in Vadra's private control?" Kejriwal asked.
DLF sold seven flats in their Magnolia property in Haryana for the price of a single flat - Rs 89 lakh - to Vadra.
The illegal nexus between the Haryana Government and DLF, facilitated by Vadra, needs to be probed. The Haryana government must come out with a white paper. And Robert Vadra, and not his Congress mouthpieces, must answer these charges.
6:55 pm: Noted intelligence expert B Raman has showered measured praise on Arvind Kejriwal on his 'expose' and terming him a A Moses in hurry
1. Shri Arvind Kejriwal of India Against Corruption (IAC) has to be complimented for drawing the attention of the public to the alleged wrong-doings of Shri Robert Vadra, the husband of Ms.Priyanka Gandhi and the son-in-law of Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President. By doing so, he has shown that in the fight against corruption, there cannot and should not be any sacred cow.
2. At the same time, all right-thinking people of this country have to be concerned over some of his political tactics in order to give himself size and shape as one of the future political leaders of India determined to give the country a clean administration and corruption-free governance.
3. It is clear he is a man with political ambitions and a political agenda, who imagines himself as the Moses of India leading the people of this country to their Promised Land. How intensely he pursues his political ambitions and agenda would be evident from the fact that in pursuit of his agenda, he decided to break even with Anna Hazare, his mentor, but for whom many of us would not have heard of Shri Kejriwal and his hangers-on. He used Anna as a ladder to climb to public prominence and then kicked the ladder away.Read more here6:40 pm: Raju Parulekar @rajuparulekar
- Point to be noted - Arvind Kejriwal's wife is Addnl.D.G. in 'serious fraud investigation office '(SFIO) ministry of corporate affairs...Here again is the complete text of Kejriwal 's allegations against Robert Vadra and DLF
6:30 pm: Noted journalist and columnist Swapan Dasgupta is effusive in his praise for Arvind Kejriwal's efforts.
Swapan Dasgupta @swapan55 - Well done Kejriwal! He has demonstrated that where there is sincerity in fighting corruption the "proof" comes flooding in.
Actor Anupam Kher also cheers Kejriwal on:
Anupam Kher @AnupamPkher - Truth is always effective, attractive and full of courage. It makes you automatically look like a HERO. Well done @ArvindKejriwal7. :)
6:20 pm: Corporate Affairs minister, Veerappa Moily, has also been gracious enough to parade his loyalty and quickly at that: I can just tell you that this is a question of allegations. These allegations appearing in the media are based on filings by companies promoted by Robert Vadra before the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. There were no irregularities noticed when the Ministry checked the documents.
Moily had this to say on the land acquisitions - No irregularities were noticed, however some action was taken for technical violations and penalties were imposed. In our records, we have not found any irregularities.
Gee! That was indeed quick work, Minister.
6:15 pm: Former super cop and India Against Corruption member Kiran Bedi wades in with her tuppenny worth.
Kiran Bedi @thekiranbedi - Watching AK's press conference. Its case of shameful state of governance in Haryana. Apex Court needs to step in for a time bound SIT!
6:10 pm: The twitterati have begun to respond:
Gautam Gandhi @gkgandhi tweets - When one converts Rs 50 lakh into Rs 5000 crore it is called a Vadra. The other way around it is a Kingfisher.
lindsay pereira @lindsaypereira - Rashid Alvi speaking on behalf of Congress. In keeping with this spirit, have asked my building's watchman to represent me at the office.
milind khandekar @milindkhandekar - Focus now shifts on Bhupinder Hooda, Low-profile CM of Haryana. Sonia & Rahul always showcased his land acquisition policy.
Minhaz Merchant @minhazmerchant - In America or Britain, DLF-type business conduct wd attract immediate class action suit by shareholders
GAURAV C SAWANT @gauravcsawant - Cong fields Rashid Alvi to respond to @AkParivartan 's charges agnst #RobertVadra. Where is the heavy artillery and the legal eagles?
Akhilesh Mishra @amishra77 - The way Congress is reacting these days, Rashid Alvi might even say say 2+2 is not equal to 4 because they have not read the papers.
You too can share your reactions with the rest of the Sify readers right here. What do you feel about the accusations and should the government probe it? React right here, right now6:00 pm:
Here is Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi's detailed reaction: "Whatever he has told there is nothing new in it. He has this habit of seeking publicity. He is doing it all for publicity. The documents he has shown to the media, how do we know whether they are authentic or not. I do not agree that this is any kind of evidence. And if he wishes to take any formal steps, then the Haryana government will respond. He has not made any statement so far to which I feel I need to respond.
On Kejriwal's request for a white paper, Alvi said: "Has he approached the Haryana government for a white paper? Announcing it in front of the media is not the right way. Let him request the Harayana government and we will consider it."
On the court orders against the DLF-Haryana government nexus, Alvi said: "I laugh at such issues. Who is to decide such issues? He (Kejriwal) will only give allegations, he only will pass judgments. Has anyone seen this document? I have not seen it. If the High court has every passed such a judgment then when was it passed? Where? What sort of documents are these?"
The Congress' spokesperson Rashid Alvi cannot even wait for Kejriwal's press conference to end. He approaches the media and has this original charge to make: "Kejriwal is doing this for publicity."
At his press conference, meanwhile, Kejriwal accuses the 'Congress of acting like Vadra's mouthpiece'.
5:30 pm: Here goes the complete list of Kejriwal 's allegations against Robert Vadra and DLF
Former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan took over to say that the nexus between DLF, the Haryana Government and Robert Vadra be probed under the Anti-corruption Act
Before handing over to former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan, Kejriwal went on to launch a direct attack on the Finance Minister, P Chidambaram too:
"Is the Finance Minister the DLF's income tax assessing officer?
How can he say that the income tax filings are in order? This is a message to those below him to not investigate DLF's taxes. Which officer would dare to investigate when the Finance Minister himself says they are clean?" Kejriwal thundered.
Kejriwal says that Rs 1750 crore worth of land was given to DLF to build a SEZ because they were the only bidder to have experience in building a golf course
. Higher bids from companies such as Unitech, were rejected purely on the grounds that they did not fulfil this one condition! "In effect, the Haryana government acted as an agent of DLF," says Kejriwal.
He said the government should bring a white paper on DLF deals and also demanded an SIT (Special Investigation Team) probe.5:18 pm:
Kejriwal also submits various documents, filed by DLF with various satutory authorities, in which DLF itself has clearly said that they had advanced loans in excess of 50 crore to Robert Vadra, unsecured.
On the flats in a building known as Magnolia, Kejriwal pointed to balance sheets of DLF itself that showed DLF had purchased seven flats in Magnolia. The flats cost Rs 10000 per square feet - working out to about Rs 89 lakh per flat.
However, the balance sheets and other papers indicated that DLF then sold all seven flats for Rs 89 lakh to Vadra - the cost of a single flat.
Kejriwal references several tenders (from 2007 onwards) involving hundreds of acres of farming land, which were acquired by the Haryana government and given to DLF for various reasons.
Most of this land was bought cheaply from the farmers and sold at a high price to DLF. The land, taken for public works like roads, hospitals etc. were then never developed for its intended purpose by DLF.
Kejriwal also read out several court verdicts in Punjab and Haryana courts that cancelled several land grants, calling them illegal and indicating a nexus between the officials and the DLF.
In another instance, the Haryana Government announced that they would acquire land at Rs 12 lakhs an acre.
Six front companies of DLF offered Rs 20 lakhs per acre for the same land. Farmers rushed to sell the land at a higher price to DLF, since the land was going to be acquired anyway. Once all the land was sold, the Haryana government dropped the idea of acquisition. Kejriwal alleged that this clearly showed that the Haryana Government acted in a way favoring DLF.5:00 pm: Arvind Kejriwal begins his press conference
by saying that while we are no investigating agency, in around a week's time, the aam aadmi
, mango people, have spoken. He points to farmers from Gurgaon and other places and tells that they all were among the displaced by the Haryana Government's decision to give land to DLF.The Haryana High Court has said that there was an illegal nexus between DLF and the Haryana government
, he goes on to say quoting court documents.
Over three hundred of land meant for a hospital were given away to DLF to build a SEZ, he says.Robert Vadra was given 50% in this DLF SEZ, says Kejriwal, which Vadra sold for a profit after a year.
So the appointed hour is upon us. This was Arvind Kejriwal's promise on twitter: "DLF granted favours to Robert Vadra. What
favours did Haryana government grant DLF? How is DLF reply a bunch of lies? Will speak Tuesday at 5pm. Evidence pouring in from mango men from across the country. Mango men wud prove to be nemesis for the powerful
Columnist and journalist Swapan Dasgupta had this to ask in his Sunday Pioneer column
: When it comes to the 'first family' there is a spectacular degree of non-questioning. No one asks why the Home Minister, the Defence Minister and even the Prime Minister are forced to undertake visits so that one special passenger can be accommodated and the official bandobast made? Why does this passenger carrying facility also extend to the backbench MP for Amethi? Why does the Congress President never offer herself for a non-scripted interaction with the media? Why is everything relating to that family such a big secret? After all, they are not private individuals but public figures
Noted journalist Tavleen Singh tweets: It is worrying that every senior minister in the Government of India has been ordered to defend Robert Vadra if he is 'only a private citizen'
A moment away from the Kejriwal-Vadra face-off and for good reason...
Kejriwal's attack against the Delhi government's power tariff hike by restoring power at a 'poor labourer's' house has been exposed as a not-so-well-researched publicity stunt.
reporter Sunetra Choudhury, who decided to probe further, ended up sharing her discovery in a series of tweets
: "i went to meet the family of bana ram yday whose power connection was restored by kejriwal. Got an insight into urban 'poor' labourer family. Bana lal's neighbour lives in equaly modest house but 2 split air cons! Bana lal had 2 washing machines which weren't working coz of power. Bana lal family felt guilty for 3 coolers they were using when i walked in so switched em off. The washing machine was a dowry item they say. They used to pay power bill of 3k which i found remarkable as it used to be my bill too before hike of 25% but they have 20 ppl in family. Earnings- bana lal n 3 brothers- daily labouers- unsteady income of 300 rs per day. Split air con neighbour has sarkari job in mtnl so...my tweets abt bana are just to point out a complicated issue n can't be judged at face value. Govt needs to b attackd but is this right way? Their power bill went up fm 3 k to 7 k to 15k very rapidly but 20 members in house. We hv 4 ppl at home n ours went fm 2k to 4 to latest 8k. That is true about every Household in Delhi."
Kejriwal, it must be remembered, was with the Indian Revenue Service. Will
this help him get hold of any bombshell documents? We will have to wait and see.
What is, though, immediately clear is that he certainly has disturbed an otherwise cosy arrangement in the highest political circles.
Remember how much little light was shed on the dealings of Ranjan Bhattacharya, the all-powerful foster son-in-law of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vadra too seemed to enjoy similar immunity until now.
Kejriwal's arrival on the political scene and his threats to reveal more has definitely set more than one political heart aflutter. No one is sacred anymore.
Many auditors and chartered accountants are refusing to buy DLF's clarification that all they had done was give a 'business advance' to Robert Vadra.
According to analysts, the rate of interest for loans in the real-estate sector was anywhere between 14% and 18%. In Vadra's case, DLF charged no interest. Why?
Like in the Satyam fiasco, the DLF's Rs 65-crore interest-free deal to Robert Vadra has turned the spotlight on the board of independent directors.
DLF and its board are answerable to shareholders.
For a company that borrows at an effective weighted average rate of 12.38%, how could it give away Rs 65 crore as interest-free loans without gaining the consent of the board
What makes the deal murkier is the fact that this interest-free loan funded Vadra's purchases of the company's own property at a substantially discounted price.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram might have ruled out a probe in to Vadra-DLF deal on the grounds that there have been no specific allegations of corruption. "Transactions between two private individuals cannot be questioned on the basis of some imputed or implied act of corruption," he had said to buttress his decision. But is all truly above board? Well, you decide.
The DLF stock
that tanked 7.2% on Monday after Kejriwal's Friday allegations of an illicit deal between the company and Robert Vadra continues to remain in the red on Tuesday too.
So, folks, it is going to get spicier today. Or is it?
Arvind Kejriwal, who has rattled the ruling Congress party with his corruption allegations against Robert Vadra, is promising more.
At a 5 pm press conference Kejriwal, with his Mein aam aadmi hoon
cap firmly in place we expect, says he will provide further evidence that might probably establish why Indian realty major DLF gave Vadra, a struggling businessman with five companies and just Rs 50 lakh as capital, unsecured loans worth Rs 65 crore.
We will be providing live coverage through the day here of all the interesting developments ahead of, during and after the big press conference.
Before that, more on Vadra's unknown companies, unclear incomes here
Also, a look at why Vadra's companies' accounts do seem curious
, even if the quid pro quo charge against him has not yet been established.