New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday hit back at the BJP, accusing it of "misusing" government agencies to target Robert Vadra and claimed that the issue involving the latter's company was being raised to avoid answering questions on bank scams and the "protection" given by the Narendra Modi government to scamsters like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi claimed that the land deal made by Vadra's company was "above board" and that all guidelines and rules were followed by it and tax was paid to the authorities.
She said Vadra's company — Skylite Hospitality — had bought a piece of land and paid capital gains tax after selling it and alleged that the government agencies were "under pressure" from the BJP, which was demanding that the profit be treated as "business income".
"The government is misusing its agencies to target Vadra. The BJP and the government are raising the issue of Skylite Hospitality to avoid answering questions regarding protecting the '4Ms' — Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya.
"The land deal of Skylite Hospitality is above board. It followed the guidelines set for every individual and every single entity that files income tax return in the country," Chaturvedi told reporters.
Another Congress spokesperson, Tom Vadakkan, said, "The Income Tax department and the ED have become allies. This is the political reality. And this is the hate story of the BJP. When there is nothing left, it always goes after Vadra. That is the story."
"They have nothing to show in the four years of their rule...they went 40 years back on Emergency. When that failed, now it is Vadra. What have they done?," he asked.
Chaturvedi said Skylite Hospitality had already filed an appeal against the Income Tax order, asking it to pay more tax, and added that the company had paid Rs 3 crore under protest.
She also alleged that India had emerged as the "most unsafe" country for women under the Modi regime and claimed that the prime minister had cited the report of the same NGO during the UPA rule, when the country was ranked fourth on this front.
"The same agency comes up with a report almost every four years. In 2013, the report had said India was the fourth most unsafe country in the world for women. At that time, we were in power and Narendra Modi himself had tweeted: 'India is considered 4th most dangerous country for women. When will she feel safe? When will this nation become a symbol of positivity'," the Congress leader said.
"This is your prime minister now, the then chief minister of Gujarat and the chief in-charge of campaigning for the BJP in 2013," she added.
Claiming that she was quoting from the same report that Modi used to attack the UPA government, Chaturvedi said, "Today, under his watch, India has been declared the most unsafe country in the world for women. So, I would like to ask the prime minister and his principal spokesperson, who usually resorts to a whole set of lies to hide their own failures, that what will the prime minister say about this?"
She sought to know if Modi believed India being declared the most unsafe country in the world for women under his watch was an achievement and asked, "Would he consider this a symbol of positivity for the women of the country?"
"I would also like to ask the prime minister that when will he seek accountability of those BJP legislators, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a protest, which was trying to protect the accused in a heinous rape case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua? They went on to become ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir cabinet.
"I want to ask the prime minister, when will he hold those leaders of his party accountable, who used the most undignified and sexist comments about women? When will he hold his own party spokesperson accountable for using derogatory language against the women spokespersons of another party?
"When will the prime minister hold himself accountable for the words he used with regard to women and when will he speak up on the rise of crimes against women in the states governed by the BJP," Chaturvedi asked.
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Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 08:32:52 IST