No Poll Code Violation in Haryana Nod to Vadra-DLF Land Deal, says EC

NEW DELHI (TIP): A controversial land deal involving Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Cong chief Sonia Gandhi, which was sanctioned recently by the Haryana government does not violate election rules, the powerful Election Commission has decided.

Haryana, ruled currently by Gandhi’s party, votes on October 15 for its next government.

In a recent election rally in the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Election Commission should scrutinise the deal, which, he alleged, was pushed through in a hurry to benefit Vadra.

“Despite the Model Code of Conduct, the son-in-law was given land. They know after the results he won’t be given anything,” the Prime Minister had said. “The Election Commission should take cognizance and appropriate action in this regard.” (In Haryana Campaign, PM Modi Brings Up Vadra Land Deal)

The PM’s party, the BJP, had described the legitimization of the deal between Mr Vadra and real estate major DLF as “a parting gift” from the state’s Congress government to the party’s First Family.

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Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said Mr Modi’s speech was “factually incorrect and far from the truth,” and the deal was cleared following proper procedure in July before model code of conduct kicked in.

The deal had been described as illicit in 2012 by senior Haryana bureaucrat Ashok Khemka, who alleged that the rules were being bent for Mr Vadra on account of his hefty connections. Khemka cancelled the mutation of the 3.5 acres sold by Vadra in 2008 to DLF — the mutation means the land title is officially transferred in local records to register the new owner. He was transferred three days later. The Haryana government said an inquiry had found his allegations to be baseless. In July this year, the mutation was sanctioned by the state government.

Congress seeks PM’s apology

The Congress on October 9 stepped up attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding an “apology” from him as Election Commission ruled that there was no violation of model code of conduct by the Haryana Government in clearing the land deal involving Robert Vadra. Party spokesperson Anand Sharma alleged that Modi was “embarrassing” the position of the Prime Minister by repeatedly making “false allegations” and he should stop doing it. “BJP has egg on its face after the EC’s order. Narendra Modi, being the Prime Minister of the country, gave a very irresponsible statement and made allegations against Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Will the Prime Minister now seek apology from the Chief Minister and people of Haryana for making wrong statements,” Mr. Sharma told reporters here. Maintaining that it
“belittles” the high post if somebody in the seat of Prime Minister keeps making false allegations, the Congress spokesperson said, “Modi should apologise to Haryana Chief Minister.” Election Commission had on Wednesday ruled that there appears to be no violation of the model code of conduct by Haryana government in clearing the land deal between Sonia Gandhi’s son-in law Robert Vadra and real estate major DLF.

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Volume 10 Issue 41 | New York | Oct 21

Print Edition ~ Digitally   Issue 41 ~ NYC ~ Oct 21  
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