'Nothing illegal in Vadra's business dealings with DLF'



New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said there was "nothing illegal, malafide or unethical" in the business dealings of Robert Vadra with realty major DLF and accused BJP of unleashing its "B-team" India Against Corruption (IAC) to "regurgitate" the old allegations.

The party dubbed IAC as "Insinuation and Allegation Corporation" and targeted Prashant Bhushan and his father Shanti Bhushan over their land deals in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Rejecting Arvind Kejriwal's allegations against Vadra, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said prima facie the charges were found to be "untruth, innuendos and lies" and deserved to be rejected with contempt.

Claiming that the transactions between Vadra and DLF were transparently declared to the statutory authorities and nothing was hidden, Tewari told reporters here that "this entire canard is a complete myth. There is nothing illegal, malafide or even unethical in what has been done".

"That the Insinuation and Allegation Corporation is the B-team of BJP is an averment we had made some time back. This suspicion gets reinforced if we examine a very interesting property transaction in Himachal Pradesh", party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.

He was referring to the allotment of a land to an NGO linked to Prashant Bhushan at Palampur in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

He said a question asked by Congress' Himachal Pradesh MLA Sudhir Sharma had brought out the fact that the allotment was the only case during the current BJP rule in the state when an individual or an institution got a land in a tea garden and the land use was changed subsequently.

While the land was allotted to Kumud Bhushan Education Society, he said the state Congress has information that there is no educational institution there and instead residential cottages are being built there and even permission of the Panchayat has not been sought.

"A question arises here as to why the BJP government of Himachal Pradesh gave this permission to this sole institution in the last three years. The same people keep lecturing of ethics in public life", Tewari said citing an old issue of alleged evasion of stamp duty in land registration at Allahabad in UP which belonged to Shanti Bhushan.

Rejecting the charge that there was double standard in Congress' action on the issue of corruption, Tewari said the charges will apply only when the charges of corruption (in the Vadra-DLF issue) are found to be true.

He said BJP's campaign of "untruth" began with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi making "totally baseless" allegations on the issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's foreign tours.

"Then there was a spectacle in the highest echelons of BJP (Nitin Gadkari) trying to protect the interests of contractors. Then you unleashed your B-team to regurgiate the allegations made in the past".

Referring to alleged evasion of stamp duty by Shanti Bhushan in the registration of plot of land in Allahabad, he said an order passed by the stamp collector had it that there was an evasion of Rs 1.6 crore in the land registration.

"This may have been challenged in the higher courts but the point is that when you talk about high morality, how can you justify it? How can you buy property at the same rate in 2010 for which you have paid the advance in 1966 and pay stamp duty accordingly", he said.

PTI