New Delhi/Rae Bareli, April 27: The verbal spat between the Congress and the BJP reached new heights Sunday, the BJP alleging “corruption under patronage” in land deals of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and his wife Priyanka Gandhi hitting back at it for “representing destructive and negative” politics.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad launched one of his party’s fiercest attacks on the Gandhi family, accusing Vadra of making “unscrupulous” land deals and seeking answers from Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi on the issue.
Prasad told a press conference here that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should explain the “Robert Vadra model of development” when “there is so much unemployment and economy was down”.
“It is a text book case of corruption, crony capitalism under patronage,” he said.
Terming Vadra as “damad shri (honoured son-in-law)”, Prasad claimed land acquisitions by Vadra’s firms had flouted several laws, including the Land Acquisition Act in Congress-ruled Haryana and in Rajasthan where the party was earlier in power.
“Vadra’s land deals have the blessings of Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi,” he alleged.
The BJP released a video and a booklet – “Damad shree the Vadra ‘get-rich-quick’ model” – on Vadra’s land deals.
The video made repeated attacks at Vadra and said the people will not forgive the Congress in the Lok Sabha election. The booklet posed several queries to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Vadra’s land deals and asked them to come clean.
The video said while there were cases of “bhai bhatijavad (nepotism)”, Vadra had added a new tradition of “damadvad (son-in-law favouritism)”. (Read: #DamaadGate: BJP launches fresh attack against Rober Vadra)
The BJP said the booklet will be distributed in different parts of the country.
Prasad said if an investigation is carried out, there will be criminal cases against Vadra.
“He (Vadra) made huge profit of Rs.300 crore in a few years from an intitial investment of Rs.1 lakh,” Prasad said.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi refuted the BJP’s allegations, but it was Priyanka Gandhi, who in Rae Bareli came out all guns blazing against the BJP and said she will not stay quiet.
She accused the BJP of unecessarily defaming her husband and said the opposition represented “destructive, negative” politics.
“They are behaving like scared rats. I knew they would resort to spreading lies a few days before polls,” she told media persons in the constituency where her mother Sonia Gandhi is contesting.
“Let them do more such smear campaigns. I will not keep quiet. I will keep raising my voice against their negative, destructive and unabashed politics,” Priyanka said after an election rally in Rae Bareli where she is campaigning for her mother.
Addressing rallies in Rae Bareli, Priyanka Gandhi targeted BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and said the opposition represented a kind of politics which aimed at concentrating power in one person.
Taking an indirect jibe at Modi, she said India does not need a “56-inch chest” for good governance.
The BJP’s attack Sunday came amid concerted Congress criticism of Modi over his Gujarat model of development, and two days ahead of the April 30 polling for 89 Lok Sabha seats, including all 26 seats in Gujarat.