Date: 12 Oct 2012


KEJRIWAL ESCALATES ATTACK ON VADRA-DLF-HARYANA 'NEXUS' TNN | Oct 10, 2012, 12.50AM IST NEW DELHI: Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday escalated his attack on Robert Vadra, releasing a new set to documents to allege a "malafide nexus" between Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law and DLF which was facilitated by concessions made by the Congress government in Haryana to the realty major.\\\\\\\\\\\\ Kejriwal cited verdicts from the high court and produced farmers whose land was acquired by the Haryana government for DLF's benefit as he demanded an FIR against Vadra under the Prevention of Corruption Act and an independent probe under a retired SC judge. \\\\\\\\\ The activist tore into Vadra and DLF's claims that all their dealings were above board, while dropping a loud hint that he was preparing a list of similar nexus involving three other companies -- India Bulls, BPTP and GMR Group. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Kejriwal demanded an explanation on five points -- land released in favour of DLF companies by Haryana government belonging to panchayat, government and HSIIDC, increased FAR and change in land use permissions granted to DLF companies. \\\\\\\\\ Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal rebutted DLF's denials to his previous set of charges and came up with fresh allegations to buttress his charge that the rise in Vadra's fortune from a mere Rs 50 lakh to Rs 300 crore was actually the result of a quid pro quo between Vadra and the company, with Haryana government organizing benefits for the latter as part of the bargain. Kejriwal accused the Haryana government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda of acting like a "DLF agent". \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Haryana government and DLF dismissed the charges, while Congress angrily responded to the fresh tranche of allegations against Vadra by accusing Kejriwal of resorting to gimmicks for the sake of publicity.\\\\\\\\\\\ Mocking Union ministers P Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid and Veerappa Moily for their defence of Vadra, Kejriwal pointed out that in 2007, Haryana government handed over 30 acres of land it had acquired for a hospital to DLF for its SEZ venture. He noted that Vadra's company, North India IT Parks, acquired 50% stake in DLF SEZ Holdings. The acquisition was stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which made scathing observations against the government for acquiring land for "colourable purpose" and for "showering favours" on DLF on the "pretext of public purpose". \\\\\\\\\\\\ Citing another instance of alleged collusion between Haryana government and DLF, Kejriwal said the Hooda government forced farmers around Manesar to resort to distress sale of their land after creating a scare that government was about to acquire it. \\\\\\\\\ "Word was spread that government was set to acquire land at the rate of Rs 12 lakh per acre. Simultaneously, six private companies which were fronts for DLF arrived on the scene offering a higher rate -- Rs 20 lakh per acre. Though this was well below the market rate, farmers fell for the bait. Those who resisted were served with acquisition notices under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act. The acquisition order was cancelled as soon as all the land had gone to the companies. Soon, DLF got the licence," Kejriwal alleged, stressing that the court has restrained DLF from undertaking further development. \\\\\\\\\\\\ The activist also gave the example of how the Haryana government rigged bidding terms to favour DLF with the project for developing and maintaining a 350-acre golf course. He said that at the time of evaluation of bid, the criteria was modified to include "experience" in developing a golf course. Kejriwal said this was tailor made for DLF and resulted in the ouster of the two other contenders -- Unitech and Country Heights -- although they were ready to pay more to the exchequer. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ He also said the Haryana government took upon itself the responsibility of acquiring all necessary permissions from the Centre: something that showed its anxiety to go an extra mile for DLF and contradicted the claim of DLF and Haryana government of an "arms length" business relationship. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ In another instance of "quid pro quo", the anti-graft campaigner said the Haryana government increased the population density for Gurgaon-Manesar urban complex plan 2031 from 250 to 625 persons per hectare. This was meant primarily to benefit DLF's Phase V project, Kejriwal said. \\\\\\\\\\\ Rebutting denials issued by DLF, Kejriwal said documents submitted by Vadra admitted that he received an unsecured loan of Rs 65 crore. "Is it normal business practice to give an advance of 90% of the amount of transaction and let it remain with the seller for more than two years without even bothering to take possession of the land?" \\\\\\\\\\\ The activist also challenged DLF's claim that it had sold the Aralias penthouse for Rs 11 crore. "The value for Aralias apartment was Rs 89 lakh in 2009-2010 and suddenly it becomes Rs 10.4 crore in 2010-2011," he said, quoting balance sheets. On the seven Magnolia apartments, Kejriwal said while DLF claimed that it sold each flat for Rs 5 crore, Vadra's balance sheets said that he got all seven in the complex for that amount. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Attacking the government including ministers Chidambaram and Khurshid for defending Vadra, Kejriwal said, "What is the relationship between Vadra and the Congress? Why are ministers defending him... when the country's finance minister says that there is no need for income tax scrutiny, he is sending a message down the line not to touch the case." \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Inviting the public to give proof of Vadra's connection to India Bulls, BPTP and GMR, Kejriwal said the "mango people" would bring the government down. Countering questions on why he did not approach the court with the proof, Kejriwal said elected leaders like PM Manmohan Singh and Haryana CM should resign if they were incapable of checking corruption. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Former law minister Shanti Bhushan, who was also at the press conference, said agencies could take action in this case as there were enough provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Evidence Act. "Nobody gives a benefit which has a value of hundreds of crores without expecting any advantage in return. One can easily imagine what kind of advantage one could expect from a politically influential person like Vadra," he said. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Tweets applaud Kejriwal\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Soon after Arvind Kejriwal unleashed "Part II" of his allegations against Robert Vadra, DLF and the Haryana government, reactions came in thick and fast on Twitter. The commentary was mostly appreciative; though there were a few doubting Thomases too. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Here's TOI's pick: @AmreshPassi: Kejriwal has just hit a "DLF Maximum" \\\\\\\\\\ @shubHASHISH: Congress rejects Kejriwal's proof. Says no merit to elicit a response. Like Pakistan when we give them proof of their hand in terror attacks \\\\\\\\\\\\\ @imchinmayshah: Arvind Kejriwal is our own Julian Assange making #cheekyleaks \\\\\\\\\\ @SamiirrJ: Arvind Kejriwal and Robert Vadra are just auditioning for Bigg Boss 7 \\\\\\\\\\\\\ @TheBlueEyedSon: Deep in my heart I want Kejriwal to succeed. But a little deeper than that I doubt (sic) him of megalomania \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Times View \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Whatever the merits of the specific allegations Arvind Kejriwal and IAC have levelled against Robert Vadra most recently and others in the past, it must be acknowledged that they have helped bring the issue of corruption to centre stage. They are also promising to break the cosy arrangements that often exist between political rivals on such issues. However, it would be best if they avoided the kind of grandstanding they are now indulging in. If they have serious charges against a "top political leader", as they say they have, why wait for a couple of days to reveal them? If they feel they have real solid evidence, they should reveal it without any further delay, else they should refrain from what smacks of a marketing gimmick. ========================== 000000000