New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday categorically dismissed the allegations made by Union Minister Smriti Irani that he dealt with a businessman who was under the CBI scanner in connection with a case of bribery.
Sibal, while denying Irani's allegations, threatened to file a defamation suit against news website opindia.Com, which was cited by the BJP leader during a press conference on the issue.
At a hastily called press conference, Sibal, a former law minister, said that he had bought the land with his own money which was mentioned in his and his company's income tax filings.
''A person who does not know the meaning of money laundering is making allegations? Yes, I bought the company, does anyone mind? I paid and did so from my earnings, tax for which was paid by me, but no one saw it, ” Sibal said.
A person who does not know the meaning of money laundering is making allegations? Yes I bought the company, does anyone mind? I paid & did so from my earnings, tax for which was paid by me, but no one saw it: Kapil Sibal on Smriti Irani's allegations against him pic.twitter.com/BgSwAkMqa0
— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2018
He also termed these allegations as an attempt to divert attention from issues of national importance such as the CBSE paper leak.
The reactions from Sibal came shortly after Irani demanded an explanation from Rahul Gandhi over Congress leader Kapil Sibal's alleged land dealing with a businessman who was investigated by the CBI in 2013 for alleged bribery.
She also cited a South African media report, which alleged that the businessman, Piyoosh Goyal, was involved in money laundering.
Citing opindia.Com, Irani alleged that Sibal and his wife bought a company called Grand Castilo from Goyal in 2017 while the UPA government was investigating the businessman for bribery.
"People might say that Mr Sibal has a right to buy and engage with the so-called alleged money launderer, the question I pose is - is it politically acceptable to Sri Rahul Gandhi," Irani said during the press conference here.
"Is it so natural for the Congress leadership today to embrace the money launderer, to shake hand with those that they had investigated for bribery," she asked.
The company had no business in the financial year 2013-14 and commenced purchase of a piece of land, which eventually cost Rs 45.21 crore, she claimed while quoting the same media report.
According to opindia.Com, Sibal purchased that land at a throwaway price.
The political slugfest comes at a time when the Congress chief is locked in heated verbal battles with the Narendra Modi government on multiple issues.