Congress lashes out on Chautala over Rahul remarks



New Delhi: The Congress Party on Thursday lashed out at Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) President Om Prakash Chautala for making baseless allegations against Rahul Gandhi in connection with land deals in the state of Haryana.

"The allegations made by Chautala against Rahul Gandhi are totally baseless. Chautala should think about himself and his sons first rather than making allegations against others," said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi.

"What is wrong in it?" he asked, while emphasizing that Rahul had purchased the land and paid the amount for it as well the duty on it.

The former Haryana Chief Minister had earlier on Wednesday accused Rahul Gandhi of tax evasion in land purchase in a village in Palwal district, and demanded that the matter be investigated by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

"Rahul Gandhi purchased a piece of land measuring around 6.5 acre in Hasanpur village in Palwal district of Haryana in March 2008. He resorted to tax evasion in it. Rahul bought this land at the rate of Rs 1.5 lakh per acre as mentioned in the land registration deed even as its valuation by the government at that time was Rs 8 lakh per acre," Chautala told mediapersons in Jalandhar.

The Congress General Secretary's office had earlier yesterday termed the charges as ''entirely false, utterly baseless and defamatory''.

In a strong point by point rebuttal of all the charges levelled by Chautala, Rahul Gandhi''s office said he purchased 51 Kanal, 13 Marla (6.456 acres) of Sailab land in Hassanpur Village of Hodal Tehsil in Palwal district.

"The land was purchased for a total purchase price of Rs. 26.47 lakh paid for by cheque, which is the equivalent of Rs. 4.10 lakh per acre. The prevailing Collector Rate for Sailab Land in Hassanpur Village, Tehsil Hodal for 2007-08 and as of March 3 2008, the date of purchase was Rs. 1.5 lakh per acre," a release by Rahul Gandhi's office said.

"Gandhi paid stamp duty of six percent amounting to Rs. 01 lakh 58 thousand 820 on the purchase price of Rs. 26.47 lakh at a rate of Rs. 4 lakh 10 thousand six per acre (i.e. at over 2.7x the prevailing Collector Rate)," the release added.

ANI