Robert Vadra, DLF counter Kejriwal charges

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 07, 2012 08:30 hrs

New Delhi: Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and real estate bellwether DLF on Saturday dismissed allegations of financial impropriety brought against them by anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal.

Finally breaking his silence over the political firestorm sparked by Kejriwal and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan on Friday, Vadra appeared to play down the charges as "negativity".

"Thank you so much for your concern. I am fine and can handle all the negativity. I have lost people I loved, what can be worse," he said on social networking site Facebook.

Kejriwal and Bhushan had targetted the Congress first family on Friday laying before people the alleged undervalued property deals of Vadra with DLF, alleging the former made hundreds of crores in return of government favours to the firm.

Soon after the charges were slapped, the entire Congress machinery was out defending the Gandhis with Sonia Gandhi herself in a one-liner statement denying Vadra misused his position. Congress called Vadra a soft target of publicity hungry Kejriwal.

DLF also in a brief statement denied the charges, while Robert Vadra, who was abroad reportedly, was unavailable for comments.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said a probe should be ordered to ascertain the truths of the allegations.

Kejrwial and his team dropped their "corruption bombshell" by naming Vadra, husband of Priyanka Gandhi, as a beneficiary of Rs 300 crore in a huge property deal by DLF company under which he was allegedly given properties in a throwaway price.

Aiming fingers at the Gandhis indirectly, Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhusan in a press conference said DLF, which got land from Congress ruled governments, gave unsecured interest free loans to Vadra to buy only their property at very cheap prices.

He got property worth Rs 300 crore for Rs 50 lakh from DLF and it should be probed, they said.

He asked why did DLF - one of the biggest realty firms of India- sanction Rs 65 crore loan to Vadra without any interest.

Vadra's response on Saturday on the loss of people he loved appeared to be in reference to the death of his sister Michelle who was killed in a car accident, brother Richard who committed suicide and father, all in the last 11 years.

Meanwhile, following up its statement a day ago, DLF on Saturday said it had transparent dealing with Vadra as an individual entrepreneur, adding that it had given Rs 65 crore as "business advances" out of which Rs 15 crore was fully refunded and Rs 50 crore was used for purchase of land.

DLF said it neither received any undue benefit from any state governments nor was it alloted any land by Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan governments.

"We wish to categorically state that the DLF has given no unsecured loans to Mr Vadra or any of his companies. An amount of Rs 65 crores was given as business advances for the purchase of land in two transactions," it added.

"There is no question of offering, let alone selling, Mr Vadra or his group companies any property at a throwaway price. The allegation that 7 apartments in Magnolias were sold for Rs5.2 crores 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.

Earlier on Saturday, anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare said a 'judicial probe' should be done while Kejriwal himself took the challenge further saying he is ready to face defamation charges if the allegations were unfounded.

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