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Vadra rebuts charge

New Delhi, Oct. 7: Robert Vadra, Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, today issued a media statement rebutting the charge that realty major DLF had sweetened land deals worth Rs 300 crore for him in return for favours from the Congress governments in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Vadra was quoted by agencies as saying he was “saddened by the attempt of (India Against Corruption leaders Arvind) Kejriwal and (Prashant) Bhushan to deliberately misrepresent numbers contained in my financial statements, manufacture lies against me and malign me and my family in order to gain cheap publicity for themselves and for the launch of their political party”.

The Congress’s Rashid Alvi echoed Vadra’s statement. The Congress fielded a battery of ministers and spokespersons over the weekend to defend Vadra after the IAC made the charges on Friday.

“My business transactions are fully reflected in financial statements filed before appropriate government authorities in compliance with the law. They are available in the public domain to anyone interested in knowing the truth,” Vadra wrote.

Yesterday, Vadra had reacted emotionally on Facebook, saying he could handle the negative publicity and thanking his supporters for their concern.

Today, he said: “The allegations levelled against me by Kejriwal and Bhushan are utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory.”

Kejriwal said Vadra’s questioning of IAC’s motives was not important: what was important was that he had not answered the questions posed.

A DLF statement yesterday had said it had given Rs 65 crore as “business advances”, of which Rs 15 crore was fully refunded and Rs 50 crore used for land purchase. It said it had received no undue benefit from any state government.

Kejriwal today alleged the DLF statement was “full of half truths and lies” and promised “a detailed response tomorrow”. He said: “A lot of information has been suppressed. But does Vadra stand by the DLF response or does he have another version?”

The BJP criticised the Congress for taking the DLF statement on face value. Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said there was a need for clarity on the matter instead of a war of words.

“We cannot simply believe what DLF has said; there needs to be a discussion,” Hussain said.