The Congress on Sunday slammed the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to divert attention from issues such as demonetisation, falling rupee, and the controversy over Rafael deal with “a new set of ‘manufactured lies’ through false and fake FIRs against political opponents”.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Haryana government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar are spreading canards against former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Robert Vadra over a “small licence for merely 2.7 acres out of total licences running to over 11,000 acres in Gurgaon”.
“Malice of PM Modi-BJP Government is apparent from the fact that various governments in Haryana, including BJP and BJP-Lok Dal Governments, have issued licences for 33,697.57 acres of land, including over 11,000 acres in Gurgaon alone,” he said.
“Khattar Government of Haryana has itself given numerous licences of over a few thousand acres for change of land use to commercial-residential-institutional etc. in the last more than 4 years between 2014-18,” alleged Surjewala.
“If grant of a licence is wrong, as is being alleged in the FIR, should a similar FIR then be not lodged against Shri Manohar Lal Khattar and others for giving commercial and other licences under the same policy?” he asked.
He said that “facts” available in public domain state that Robert Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality Private Limited purchased a small piece of land measuring 3.5 acres on 28.01.2008 in the notified commercial zone of Village Sikohpur, Gurgaon, Haryana through a registered sale-deed for Rs.7.95 crore including stamp duties as per the prevailing collector rate.
“In accordance with the prevailing government policy for grant of licence, a commercial licence for 2.5 acres was granted on 15.12.2008. Commercial colony licence charges of Rs.7.43 acore and renewal charges of Rs.73 lakh were also paid. Thus, total amount paid for purchase of land and statutory charges comes to Rs.16.11 crore,” Surjewala said.
The Congress leader added that this land was sold by Skylight to DLF for Rs.58 crore on 18.09.2012 after a lapse of nearly 5 years.
“Even on this amount, Skylight/Vadra paid an additional tax of Rs 8 crore. Thus, a total amount of Rs 24.11 crore was paid in statutory charges/taxes against the receipt of sale price of Rs 58 crore. Even the licence remains valid till date and has not been cancelled on account of violation of any rule or law or policy for grant of licence. The entire allegations are, thus, false and fabricated on the face of it,” Surjewala alleged.
The Congress leader said that Hooda and others challenged the report by the Justice SN Dhingra Commission, commissioned by the Khattar government, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which later stayed the report and fixed the matter for final arguments.
According to the Congress spokesperson, the Modi government is “acting maliciously” because of upcoming elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram along with the General Elections 2019.
“This is a panic reaction by a government, which is on the verge of losing power in Haryana as also at the Centre, besides the four poll-bound States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram,” he said.
The Haryana Police booked businessman Robert Vadra, the son-in-low of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Saturday in connection with alleged irregularities in some land deals in Gurgaon.
An FIR against Vadra, Hooda and two companies – DLF and Onkareshwar Properties – has been registered at the Kherki Daula police station in Gurgaon.
In February, Hooda and 33 others were chargesheeted by the CBI in another case of corruption related to land deals in Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula villages of Gurgaon. The chargesheet had alleged a scam totaling Rs 1,500 crore.