Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday launched a scathing attack against Congress senior leader Kapil Sibal, alleging that he had been involved in a land scam during his tenure as law minister in 2013.
Irani alleged at a press conference, quoting from media reports, that in November 2013, Sibal and his wife had secured the ownership of a company named Grand Castello from a person who was being probed by the CBI for bribery allegations at the time and against whom South African journalists had levelled charges of money laundering.
Sibal, meanwhile, dismissed the reports saying that he had bought the company legally with his taxed income. "Yes, I bought a company. Why does anyone have an objection? I paid income tax and all my records are in order,"
"If you have a problem, ask me. Why are you asking Rahul Gandhi?" Sibal said.
He added, "Today, a minister came out as a party worker to address a press conference. The BJP should've spoken on the CBSE issue and addressed the problems of the students. Instead, Irani started deflecting the real issues."
Irani, in her press conference, had quoted from an OpIndia report, alleging that Sibal had acquired a piece of land valued at 89 crore rupees in the New Delhi municipal area during his tenure, by paying much less than the amount for acquiring the holding company.
"The company’s auditor also qualified his audit report to this extent, stating that subject to this revaluation, the financial statements gave a 'true and fair' view of the state of affairs of the company," she read out from the report.
Irani had also alleged that Sibal had lied when South African journalists enquired details about his ownership in the company. "He may have a right to be associated with a money launderer, but the question that I ask is this: Is this politically acceptable to Rahul Gandhi?"
Given that he was the law minister at the time, how could he associate with such an individual, Irani asked. "Sibal must answer this question," she said.
Watch the full press conference here:
— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2018
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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2018 18:17:20 IST