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BJP ups the ante with Vadra video
* Bollywood-style film asks Sonia to explain ‘Vadra model of development’
* Priyanka hits back
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 27
In the fiercest attack on the Gandhis this election season, the BJP today unveiled a video film and a booklet titled “Damaadji” questioning the land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and asking her to come clean on the “Vadra model of development”.

The highly provocative video featuring a dramatic voice over detailing the so-called rise of Vadra came hours after his wife and Sonia’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi took a swipe at BJP’s PM nominee in Rae Bareli saying: “You need a large heart and not a 56-inch chest -- moral strength and not crude authority to govern India.”

Priyanka’s remarks gelled with Sonia and Congress vice-president Rahul’s progressively sharpening attacks on Modi’s “Gujarat development model” with Sonia yesterday saying in Punjab that God save the country from Modi’s model. The BJP returned the jibes in full measure today targeting the Gandhis like never before. The offensive, escalating the ongoing Modi-Gandhi war of words, came with 194 parliamentary segments yet to vote in the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha elections.

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad was handpicked by the party to cite deals of Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitality in Congress-ruled Haryana and Rajasthan and return Priyanka’s “large heartedness” remark aimed at Modi.

“The BJP asks Sonia and Rahul Gandhi what large heartedness led to the rise in Robert Vadra’s fortunes. But for their encouragement, his company with a Rs 1 lakh balance could not have amassed Rs 300 crore. They must explain the Vadra model of development,” Prasad said while the video film added a punch line: “Janata maaf nahi karegi”.

To be released across India, the film is the saffron party’s response to Priyanka who recently voiced pain at BJP’s “consistent politically motivated attacks on her husband”.

The BJP booklet (sub-titled "Vadra get-rich-quick model") listed documents to take on Priyanka and allege Vadra's criminal liability. “If Vadra has such entrepreneurial ability, why didn’t he buy land in any non-Congress state?” Prasad said.

In Haryana’s context, the BJP questioned the haste with which the state granted a Letter of Intent in 18 days and then, a commercial colony licence to Vadra.

In Rajasthan, the party alleged that Vadra knew in advance the government policy to promote solar power and purchased prime land around highways and grid stations in the state. “When investors went to Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot for land, he referred them to Vadra's company saying none was left,” Prasad said.

BJP’s booklet makes out certain offences -- Prevention of Corruption Act against the bureaucrats who acted under alleged Congress pressure to favour Vadra; offences against Vadra under Sections 417, 468, 471 and 120 B IPC for concealing in the licence renewal application that his firm received Rs 50 crore advance from DLF against the sale of land earlier and later handed over prime land with commercial use licence to DLF; Section 82 of the Registration Act for false statements in the registered deed and Sections 217 (5) and 628 of the Companies Act for showing false book overdraft of Rs 7.94 crore in his firm’s balance sheet when he didn’t have the money.

Parallel to that, the video, featuring Vadra at his flamboyant-best and riding swanky bikes, calls him “Desh ka saudagar”; “King of scams”; someone “whose omissions were forgiven as he is the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi”. It adds: “Is baar janata maaf nahi karegi”.

The Congress was quick to reject the allegations as “BJP’s frustration” and said PILs against Vadra had been dismissed by the Allahabad High Court and the apex court. “The BJP can’t fight us on development, so they are launching personal attacks,” said Congress’ Sanjay Jha.

But an unrelenting BJP posed 13 questions to Sonia -- including why CAG audit on licences for colony development in Haryana was dropped; why a bureaucrat in Haryana CM’s office handling licencing was made a UPSC member. “We charge this officer was rewarded for favouring Vadra,” said Prasad accusing Vadra of violating Haryana Land Ceiling Act by possessing 147 acres (There is a limit of 54 acres).

‘From Rs 1 lakh to 300 crore’

"The BJP asks Sonia and Rahul Gandhi what large heartedness led to the rise in Robert Vadra’s fortunes. But for their encouragement, his company with a Rs 1 lakh balance could not have amassed Rs 300 crore. They must explain the Vadra model of development"

Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP leader


Priyanka Gandhi "They are running around like panic-stricken rats. I knew that they will repeat their bunch of lies. There is nothing new in it but let them say whatever they want to"

Priyanka Gandhi


Farooq Abdullah "Those who vote for Narendra Modi should drown in the sea. India cannot become communal. If it becomes communal, then Kashmir will not remain with India."

Farooq Abdullah






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