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Congress says Rana Kapoor’s allegations are political vendetta

Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor has told the ED that he was “forced” to buy an M.F. Husain painting from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and was told by the then Petroleum Minister Murli Deora that the refusal to buy the painting will prevent him from building a relationship with the Gandhi family. File

Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor has told the ED that he was “forced” to buy an M.F. Husain painting from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and was told by the then Petroleum Minister Murli Deora that the refusal to buy the painting will prevent him from building a relationship with the Gandhi family. File | Photo Credit: Paul Noronha

Countering Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor’s statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was “forced” to buy an M.F. Husain painting from party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress on Sunday termed it “political vendetta” and an attempt to create “fear psychosis”.

Party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Manu Singhvi at a press conference questioned the credibility of Mr. Kapoor, who has been arrested on charges of financial fraud. He also questioned the ED’s credibility.

According to the second supplementary charge-sheet filed by ED in a special court in Mumbai, Mr. Kapoor had told the ED that he had been “forced” to buy the M.F. Husain painting from Ms. Vadra and the sale proceeds were utilised by the Gandhi family for Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s medical treatment in New York.

The Yes Bank co-founder stated that the then Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had cautioned him that the refusal to buy the painting will not only prevent him from building a relationship with the Gandhi family but also prevent him from getting the Padma Bhushan award.

Mr. Kapoor further added that Ahmed Patel, a close confidante of Ms. Gandhi, had told him that by supporting the Gandhi family at an opportune time for medical treatment, he [Kapoor] had performed a good deed and would be duly considered for the Padma Bhushan award.

“This is absolutely astonishing. I don’t want to use a strong word...it is absolutely disgusting that a 2010 transaction, a person who is behind bars for years, whose 20-30 bail applications have been rejected, who is called a crook and a fraudster, makes allegations about dead people and the government is jumping with joy only because it suits their political angle,” Mr. Singhvi said.

The government wants to keep the pot boiling for a transaction of 2010, “when neither Murli Deora is here to deny it nor Ahmed Patel is here to deny,” the Congress leader alleged.

“What is the objective of this. It it the result of your [government’s] pressure tactics and coercion on a person behind bars, eager to get his freedom, to record statements against political opponents and to keep a 12-year-old thing boiling just for the convenience of politics,” Mr. Singhvi said.

He also pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Haryana Government had invested ₹2,500 crore of government money into the “sinking” Yes Bank.

The Congress spokesperson said that between March 2014 and March 2019, Yes Bank loans increased from ₹55,000 crore to ₹2.41 lakh crore, a nearly five-time increase, and claimed that such a dramatic increase in loans was because of demonetisation.

“They are trying to create a fear psychosis to scare people to do political vendetta, they should know better than that. At least spare the dead. At least don’t defame people like Deora and Ahmed Patel,” he said, adding, “We all know the credibility of the ED, and more than that, the credibility of the person accused in this case, who is supposed to have made this statement”.


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2022 12:46:14 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/political-vendetta-congress-on-rana-kapoors-mf-hussain-painting-allegation-against-priyanka-gandhi/article65350985.ece