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Robert Vadra-DLF: Arvind Kejriwal's allegations raise many questions

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Oct 10, 2012 at 07:03pm IST

New Delhi: A day after anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal made fresh allegations against Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, construction major DLF and the Congress government in Haryana, many questions remain unanswered. Even as Vadra, DLF and Haryana government have denied any wrongdoing and illegal transactions, a closer look at the documents reveal that everything is not above board.

Reacting to Kejriwal's allegations DLF said that Vadra's company Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd sold off its land at Manesar to the company for Rs 58 crore and Rs 50 crore was paid as advance. Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd had acquired the land a year ago in 2011 for Rs 15.38 crore. The three big questions that arise out of this deal are: How did the cost of the land escalate by almost 400 per cent in a span of just one year? Despite a payment of Rs 50 crore in advance for the land, why do Vadra's balance sheets in March 2011 show both cash and land still in his company's name? And why didn't Vadra's balance sheet reflect the Rs 50 crore advance for two years?

In another deal, DLF said Vadra paid Rs 11.9 crore for an apartment in Aralia. But why does his balance sheet show Rs 89.41 lakh as the purchase price, which a year later is valued at over Rs 11 crore?

DLF said that the company bought back Vadra's stake in SEZ at the same value at which it was sold. But the question arises as why in falling market it DLF buy back Vadra's stake at the same price. Another suspicion about the deal is if Vadra became a 50 per cent shareholder of DLF SEZ in October 2008, why did he exit the business a year later without any loss or gain. The another controversial point is that what was Vadra's influence in the market that made DLF invest so heavily in all his companies, also giving crores as advance.

Kejriwal on Tuesday alleged that the Haryana government had given undue benefits to DLF. He said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had pointed at a "malafide nexus" between the two. However, the Haryana government refuted all the allegations and said, "All permissions have been given according to rules. No land has been released in the last 10 years. No favour has been granted to the DLF."

The India Against Corruption (IAC) member also alleged that the Haryana government had allotted over three-acre of land meant for hospital to DLF to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). He went on to say that Vadra was given as much as 50 per cent of stake in DLF's SEZ company after one year.

"DLF SEZ Holdings Pvt Ltd was incorporated in 2.2.2007. Next year on 13.10.2008, M/s North India IT Parks Pvt Ltd (Robert Vadra group company) acquired almost 50 per cent of its shareholding. However, in subsequent year in 2009, this was sold back to DLF group. What role did he play in that one year when DLF SEZ was in Mr Vadra's control," alleged Kejriwal.

He further alleged that the Haryana government manipulated the bidding process saying the bids given by Unitech and Country Heights were not opened. Kejriwal also said that forest land was also given to the construction major by the state government.

Kejriwal said the amount of unsecured loan given by DLF to Vadra, which he had earlier claimed to be Rs 65 crore, was actually Rs 85 crore. The activist-turned-politician added that he was constantly getting letters and proofs from several people after his previous press conference.

DLF, though not denying the details given by Kejriwal altogether, said the deals never transpired. In a statement, DLF said, "In the DLF SEZ Holdings Pvt Ltd, 50 per cent of shareholding was acquired by M/s North India IT Parks Pvt Ltd at the face value of Rs 2.50 lakh in October 2008. It was subsequently bought back in September 2009 fully at face value, as the proposal for developing SEZs could not take off due to deep recession. No benefit or gain was made by Mr Vadra or DLF, in this regard."

Making the allegations against the Congress government in Haryana, Kejriwal demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Suggesting that his offensive against the government would continue, Kejriwal said that he would expose a politician on October 16. He also demanded that the Himachal Pradesh government should give details about the properties bought by Priyanka Gandhi in the state.

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