BJP on Sunday accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of hiding facts about his income from the Election Commission and alleged that he made huge profits through highly inflated rentals and properties purchased from suspect firms, a charge that was rejected by Congress as a “desperate attempt by BJP to clutch at straws” and to “divert attention” from the issues that matter.
“We are revealing the assets of a non-performing asset. We await his declaration of income and will take a telescopic view of his election affidavit. Going by his affidavits in 2004 and 2009, he has four ways to increase his assets,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Promising a series of press conferences, Patra said Rahul’s assets were around Rs 55 lakh in 2004, rose to more than Rs 3 crore in 2009 and were about Rs 9 crore in 2014.
He referred to an intermediary H L Pahwa who sold land to Rahul, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra. “The land bought for a value of lakhs was sold back to Pahwa for crores. And he got the money from C C Thampi and arms middleman Sanjay Bhandari,” Patra alleged.
Challenging the Congress president to file a defamation case if the facts were wrong, Patra went on to allege that a family farm house in Mehrauli in Delhi, listed at a value of Rs 9 lakh in Rahul’s affidavit and co-owned by Priyanka, was rented out for Rs 6.7 lakh a month and a fat advance of Rs 40 lakh.
“The rentier was FTIL, a company whose name surfaced during the National Spot Exchange Limited scam. This happened during the UPA tenure and that company is paying a highly inflated rental,” Patra said.
“After all, Rahul Gandhi is not a professional. His income is his MP’s salary. This is a strange case of a family that does no work but acquires assets of crores,” he added.
The BJP spokesperson said a tax notice of Rs 100 crore associated with Rahul and mother Sonia’s dealings with Associated Journals Ltd was pending since 2011-12. “You have been hoodwinking chowkidars like CBI and ED. Now there is a chowkidar who will not be swayed,” Patra said.
Congress, however, refuted the charges and said it was “ridiculous” that BJP was levelling allegations of corruption when its own leaders were entrenched in graft.