Live: Why DLF’s claim of an ‘advance’ to Vadra doesn’t hold up

by Oct 8, 2012

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6.00pm: The truth about Vadra's 'advance' from DLF

Firstpost columnist Vivek Kaul debunks DLF's claim that the money given to Robert Vadra was an 'advance;' and not an interest free loan.

He says, "The Investopedia website defines a current liability as “a company’s debts or obligations that are due within one year.” In Vadra’s case the current liability of an advance from DLF remained on the books for a period two to three years. And that clearly isn’t normal. It certainly looks like a sweetheart deal"

Read the whole article here

5.01 pm: Kejriwal raises questions about Priyanka's property

The IAC has issued a statement questioning land acquisitions made by Priyanka Gandhi in Himachal Pradesh, based on a letter sent to Kejriwal by former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar.

Priyanka Vadra’s family has a property in Shimla. I don’t have full information about this, but it has a value of crores of rupees. You should add this to your list. The whole country is with you in your fight,” Kumar said in a letter written to Kejriwal yesterday.

Based on Kumar’s letter, India Against Corruption (IAC) issued a statement in which it said that the BJP state government in Himachal Praadesh should come clean on Priyanka’s properties in the state.

“We also know that no outsiders can buy property in Himachal without the state government’s permission. If this is true, when was Priyanka Vadra given permission to buy property in the state and which government gave it?” the IAC statement said.

“Shanta Kumar is saying he does not have information. We don’t understand this. He can find this out very fast as his party is in power. We appeal to Shanta Kumar and Chief Minister PK Dhumal that they tell the public whether Priyanka has any property in Shimla as is alleged,” it added.

Read the whole story here

4.34pm:  Analysis: Why is Chidambaram giving Vadra a clean chit?

Firstpost Senior Editor Venky Vembu questions if Chidambaram has gone through Robert Vadra's tax returns, in order to make a statement that all the transactions referred to by Kejriwal had already been declared by Vadra.

Vembu adds that if this is indeed the case, it runs contrary to the Congress defence that the transactions outlined were deals made by a "private individual". He says,

"Curiously, Chidambaram also confirmed that “the individual” (as he referred to Vadra without naming him), had “disclosed all these transactions” in his income tax returns and other returns. That raises the question of whether and why Chidambaram (or one of his officials) had taken a peek into Vadra’s and his companies’ income tax returns – and offer what sounds suspiciously like a clean chit to Vadra.

If Vadra is a private citizen in the way that Chidambaram himself, and others, claim, under what authority did the Finance Minister make a statement on his tax returns? That authority, if anything, vests with income tax department officials, and although as Finance Minister, Chidambaram has oversight , it appears to be a disquieting exercise of his authority – if that’s what he has done."

Read the whole article here

3.28 pm: Kejriwal slams Vadra for 'Mango people' remark

IAC activist Arvind Kejriwal  slammed Vadra for his 'Mango people' remark on his Facebook page. "Evidence pouring in from mango men from across the country. Mango men wud (sic) prove to be nemesis for the "powerful," tweeted Kejriwal.

Vadra reportedly wrote on his Facebook page, "mango people in a banana republic" but later deleted the page, after scrutiny on it increased, following Kejriwal's allegations.

2:40 pm: Kejriwal to make more sensational material against Vadra public tomorrow

Firstpost's Danish Raza reports that Kejriwal is already lining up his next shot against Robert Vadra.

Kejriwal has said that he will make documents against not only Vadra, but also another politician, public tomorrow. Expect a high turnout for his next press conference tomorrow. Kejriwal also tweeted saying, What favors did Haryana Govt grant DLF? How is DLF reply a bunch of lies? Will speak tomo at 5pm.

2.06 pm: Analysis: The Congress media strategy is just embarrassing the party

Firstpost Features Editor Sandip Roy looks at how eager Congress Ministers are falling over themselves to defend Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law in the media, and are making a complete hash of the partys media strategy as a result.

Roy says,

In the process, the party is tripping itself up on its own logic in full media glare. Is it proper for a finance minister to personally peruse the financial records of a private citizen and then announce that to the media? Robert Vadra himself has said “I am a private law-abiding citizen who has been engaged in business for the past 21 years.” Yet the Congress finds itself unable to treat him as such. So a Manish Tewari rejects the demand for a probe saying “An inquiry into what? Is a business transaction between two private entities duly reported to the statutory authorities illegal?” On the other hand, a Salman Khurshid calls it a stealth attack on Sonia herself. The party has to make up its mind about who this is about — a private citizen like Robert Vadra or a public figure like Sonia Gandhi.

Read the whole article here

1.17pm: Robert Vadra closes Facebook account

Clearly tired of all the public scrutiny that he is coming under, Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra has shut his Facebook account. The move came hours after IAC activist Kumar Vishwas demanded that Vadra apologise for a statement that he had made on his Facebook page, saying 'Mango people in banana republic'.

CNN-IBN quoted Vishwas as saying, "Today Robert Vadra has written 'mango people in banana republic' on his Facebook page. He insulted our country because he is related with the most arrogant family ie the Gandhi family. He should apologise before the nation".

Interestingly Vadra first used his Facebook page to break his silence on the allegations made against him by Kejriwal. He had posted a message on the social networking site saying, “Thanks so much for your concern. I am fine and can handle all the negativity." He further said, “(I have) lost people I loved, what can be worse?”

12.53 pm: Chidambaram reacts to Kejriwal allegations

Finance Minister P Chidambaram has reacted to Kejriwal's allegations against Robert Vadra saying, "Unless there is a specific charge of quid pro quo, the government can't probe deals".

Chidambaram had made a similar statement over the weekend when he told reporters, “I am not aware of the rightness or wrongness of the allegations …. transactions between two private individuals cannot be questioned on the basis of certain imputed or implied act of corruption".

“In fact what I have gathered is” that these transactions are between two private individuals and they have been disclosed in the appropriate income tax and other returns, the finance minister said.

“…and nobody has alleged any quid pro quo or any corrupt motive, beyond that I cannot say anything,” he added.

12.08: Analysis: Why the DLF defence is 'hog wash'

Firstpost senior editor Venky Vembu explains why the DLF rebuttal to Kejriwal and Bhushan's allegations that it gave Vadra's company an unsecured loan.

Vembu says, "It hardly seems “standard business practice” for DLF to pay up to nearly 90 percent of the property transaction value to Vadra’s company as an “advance” – and for that amount to remain listed on Vadra’s company’s balance sheet for two years and more as an “advance”. Indicatively, even as of 31 March 2010, Sky Light Hospitality lists a Rs 50 crore payment from DLF as an advance on sale of Manesar land, and an additional Rs 10 crore from DLF as “advance… (Land A/c)”. Despite the nature of this classication, in spirit, there is nothing to distinguish these payments from an interest-free loan to Vadra’s companies." (Read the whole article here)

The DLF statement slammed Kejriwal's allegations and categorically denied his charges. "We wish to categorically state that the DLF has given no unsecured loans to Vadra or any of his companies,” DLF said in a statement released Saturday.

“At no stage was a property ever sold to the Skylight Group (in which Vadra is a director) below the then offered price to all customers,” the statement said.

11.20am: Who has said what so far

The last few days have seen a massive war of words, ever since Arvind Kejriwal's unprecedented attack on Robert Vadra. This is a quick summary of who has said what:

DLF: "We wish to categorically state that the DLF has given no unsecured loans to Vadra or any of his companies,” DLF said in a statement released Saturday, a day after IAC’s Arvind Kejriwal levelled his charges against Vadra.

“At no stage was a property ever sold to the Skylight Group (in which Vadra is a director) below the then offered price to all customers,” the statement said.

DLF went on to deny that it sold any of its assets to Vadra at throwaway prices, or the existence of a quid pro quo in the business transactions. “DLF vehemently denies any quid pro quo in its transactions with Vadra and his group of companies,” it added.

Robert Vadra: “This is a cheap publicity stunt by Arvind Kejriwal to launch his political career.”

He added that he was a “private law abiding citizen who has been engaged in business over the last 21 years”, and said that his business transactions were fully reflected in financial statements filed before appropriate authorities in compliance with the law.

Vadra also said he was ‘saddened’ by the attempts to malign him and his family, adding that the allegations against him were false, baseless and defamatory.

The use of the word defamatory here is interesting, because it hints of possible future legal action, although Vadra has not made any such claim as yet.

Arvind Kejriwal: (On the DLF statement) "The DLF statement is full of half truths and lies. Does Robert Vadra stand by DLF response or does he have another version? Wud appreciate his response”

(On Vadra's rejoinder) “Robert Vadra has questioned our motives that is not important. He has not replied to the questions that we have raised.”

The IAC activist also hit out at the Congress Party’s continued defence of Vadra saying, that the very fact that they were defending him so vigorously showed that he was guilty. He added, “I’m really sad that Salman Khurshid is saying ‘main Sonia ji ke liye jaan de dunga‘ instead of saying ‘desh ke liye jaan dunga‘

9:45 am: IAC's Kumar Vishwas says Vadra must apologise

The war of words involving Robert Vadra, Prashant Bhushan and India Against Corruption does not seem to be dying down in the slightest, with a new salvo fired by the group early on Monday morning.

The new statement, made by IAC member Arvind Kejriwal's associate Kumar Vishwas pertained to reports that Vadra had posted a new Facebook status that read, 'Mango people in banana republic'. Vishwas had reacted demanding an apology.

CNN-IBN quoted Vishwas as saying, "Today Robert Vadra has written 'mango people in banana republic' on his Facebook page. He insulted our country because he is related with the most arrogant family ie the Gandhi family. He should apologise before the nation".

The back and forth continues: Reuters

Earlier, Vadra broke his stoic silence and told media channels that he was the victim of a "cheap publicity stunt" launched by Kejriwal and Bhushan as part of an effort to launch their political careers.

He added that he was a “private law abiding citizen who has been engaged in business over the last 21 years”, and said that his business transactions were fully reflected in financial statements filed before appropriate authorities in compliance with the law.

Vadra also said he was ‘saddened’ by the attempts to malign him and his family, adding that the allegations against him were false, baseless and defamatory.

Hitting back, Kejriwal defiantly challenged Vadra to sue him if he wanted to, adding that “Robert Vadra has questioned our motives that is not important. He has not replied to the questions that we have raised.”

Earlier the IAC activist also attacked a DLF statement that refuted that allegations he had made against the company, as being full of "half truths and lies.

politics trump card game

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