Just over a day after Republic TV-OpIndia report blew the lid over Rahul Gandhi holding land deals with one HL Pahwa, which in turn indicated the Congress president having links with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, the Enforcement Directorate issued summons to HL Pahwa and CC Thampi -- the alleged linkman between Bhandari and Pahwa.
Republic TV has learnt that the agency called the two individuals for questioning. While Thampi came up with an excuse that he is undergoing treatment in U.S. and needs one month time, Pahwa has not responded to the summons.
Further, details regarding the investigation have also been accessed, which suggests that kickbacks received in the petroleum and defence deals by Bhandari was utilised to purchase the land.
The ED is suspecting that Pahwa had recieved Rs 54 crore from CC Thampi, a close aide of Sanjay Bhandari, to buy the land from Priyanka Gandhi, four years after he had sold the land to her for a much less price.
The deals which are in question through which Bhandari recieved kickbacks are the Pilatus deal and the ONGC-Samsung deal. Both the deals are being probed by the agency. The ED has also alleged that money made from Samsung and Pilatus deal was utilised to buy benami properties in London and land in India.
OpIndia had released a report which had revealed that Rahul Gandhi had bought a land from one HL Pahwa, and how the latter had connections with CC Thampi, an aide of Sanjay Bhandari and Robert Vadra.
Further, the article also indicated how Priyanka Gandhi and her husband held land dealings with Pahwa, but at a similar price. Though, Priyanka sold the land back to him at a much higher price four years later, despite him not having the money to buy it.
The Congress party on Wednesday admitted to the deal, defending its legitimacy while choosing to remaining silent on the connection to Bhandari.
In its effort to rebut the report, the Congress party claimed that its president 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 claimed.
READ: EXCLUSIVE: "Brother In Law Was Just A Mask Of Corruption, Real Face Is Rahul Gandhi," Says Union Minister Smriti Irani Demanding Answers From The Congress President On His Alleged Link With Sanjay Bhandari
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.