The Hindu Business Line

Rahul and Priyanka are tainted: Jaitley


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi of buying political equity for scamsters who used their connection­s with him and his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi to avoid investigat­ion and prosecutio­n during the UPA’s tenure.

Jaitley cited the example of Jignesh Shah of Financial Technologi­es (India) Ltd (FTIL) and real estate developer Sanjay Chandra of M/s Unitech Builder who rented a farmhouse owned by Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi ostensibly to avoid prosecutio­n during the Congress’ tenure.

Jignesh Shah had reportedly rented a farmhouse owned by the Gandhis in early 2013 when National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), a company promoted by FTIL, was under investigat­ion for alleged market irregulari­ties. The Finance Minister asserted that the Gandhis Arun Jaitley

routinely earned large quantum of rentals as advance from a number of such tenants who faced investigat­ions and the capital they earned was invested with shady real estate companies.

Jignesh Shah’s companies are under the scanner of multiple probe agencies for market irregulari­ties and Sanjay Chandra, the promoter of Unitech, is in jail for siphoning off homebuyers’ money. The Finance Minister accused Rahul Gandhi, who has consistent­ly attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi especially on the Rafale jet fighter deal, of being “tainted”.

“Here is a man who makes reckless allegation­s without any basis. It was no rocket science for him to know who were conferring him with largesse. He aspires to be a Prime Minister. Such aspirants like Caesar’s wife must be beyond suspicion. With tainted hands, he must at least remember that people in glass houses do not throw stones,” said Jaitley.

‘Suspect means of livelihood’

Implying that their livelihood is being earned through suspect means, Jaitley said the Congress President and his family have not earned from any commercial venture for generation­s but have not just led a comfortabl­e life but have also studied abroad and enjoyed multiple domestic and internatio­nal locations.

Jaitley said the Gandhis created tenancies in favour of people who needed help from the government.

“Rentals are paid by obliging tenants in advance. Not only did they pay large quantum of rentals as advance through make believe tenancies, they also apparently paid for a large number of employees who managed the estate.

The amount collected from these tenants through advance rentals and subsequent­ly, the tenancies enabled the creation of the capital.

Several crores of this capital thus created was invested with the real estate company under cloud and which, like the tenants, entered into a ‘sweetheart deal’ that from the moment the proposed buyer paid the advance towards the real estate to be purchased, one was paid back annually under an ‘assured income programme’.

“Amongst the names of the tenants, the critical person is Jignesh Shah of FTIL and the real estate developer is M/s. Unitech builder through Sanjay Chandra. Who else would enter into such a ‘sweetheart deals’ except the ‘fly-by-night’ operators who needed State patronage?” he said.

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