Union Minister Smriti Irani, who through a press conference earlier on Wednesday demanded answers from Rahul Gandhi for his alleged connenction with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari following a media report, spoke exclusively to Republic TV on this matter.
Questioned by Republic Media's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on why she and her party feels the Congress president having land deals is a crime, the Textiles minister mentioned that the findings from the article by OpIndia clearly suggests there was something wrong.
"I believe the article of OpIndia. I said OpIndia's article should be read carefully. It mentions one of the ED raids under which these documents have been found at the residence of HL Pahwa and on the basis of those documents, it has been established that after selling the land, economically HL Pahwa was not in a capacity to repurchase the land that too at an increased rate of 400%," she said.
The Textiles Minister then raised the explanation issued by the Congress party on this matter, saying a lot is left to be answered from the meek response by Rahul Gandhi.
"I am thankful to the person whosoever has drafted that press release of Congress party. The one whosoever drafted the press release of Congress party has said this with full confidence that yes, the land is with him. Who was the buyer of that land from Rahul Gandhi - Mahesh nagar. Who is Mahesh Nagar, Congress party should tell. Who is Sanjay Bhandari, Congress party should tell. Who is CC Thampi? Why there is a case lodged against him for petroleum deal, Congress party should tell. You know CC Thampi's UAE company's name is Skylight and (Robert) Vadra is running a company with him," she added.
Further, the Union Minister also assured that due investigation will be done by the agencies on this matter, and justice shall be served.
"The investigative bodies will investigate on this matter and will reach close to justice, that is my belief," Smriti Irani further said.
She also leveled serious allegation against Rahul Gandhi, stating that he was real kingpin of the corruption deals, and that Robert Vadra is there only to mask the serious charges on the Congress president.
"Issue is related to Rahul Gandhi, CC Thampi and Sanjay Bhandari. The matter is that the brother in law was just a mask of corruption, real face is Rahul Gandhi. This is the matter. And what all questions I had asked (during press briefing), Congress party didn't give a single answer to those. What is so special about Mahesh Nagar who is leading the charge? And that chief is also involved in grabbing the illegal lands," the Union Minister said.
On Wednesday evening, hours after BJP raked up the news report by OpIndia and Republic Media, the Congress party issued an explanation on the charges leveled against its party chief Rahul Gandhi on his links with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
In its effort to rebut the report, the Congress party claimed that Rahul Gandhi had purchased 6.456 acre of land from for Rs 26.47 lakh, which was all paid through cheque in March 2008.
Four years later, ie on July 2012, the Congress president had 'gifted' the land to his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had in turn in August 2014 gifted the land to a not for profit spiritual organisation, the party claims.
The Congress concluded its defence of Rahul Gandhi by stating that the party chief did not, at any point, have any connection with any individual whatsoever during the land deal.