ED may summon Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over sale of panting
At the time when Congress was trying to corner the ruling BJP for the Yes Bank crisis, it got itself caught up in an unsavory controversy over the sale of a painting by its Secretary General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the former head of Yes Bank, Rana Kapoor from the acclaimed painter MF Hussian to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during the Congress centenary in 1985.
According to a report in the Times of India, the enforcement agency investigating the case based on statements made by Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor could summon Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for questioning and likely also put up her cottage near Shimla.
According to officials known in the case, the chairman of Congress, Milind Deora, is also likely to be questioned in connection with the dire deal he allegedly forced Yes Bank chief Rana Kapoor into.
In his statement, taped at the ED Mumbai office on Sunday, Rana Kapoor alleged former South Mumbai MP Milind Deora pressured him to print a portrait of ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of Priyanka for Buy 2 rupees.
Under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, the money of Kapoor, a defendant who Priyanka spent on her cottage near Shimla, is considered “the proceeds of crime” and this makes the property vulnerable to the prospect of being bound by him become ED.
ED sources cited text messages recovered from Kapoor’s cell phone and his testimony that depraved banker Rana Kapoor, who withdrew rupees 4,000 from Yes Bank, may not have bought the painting of his own free will. He was actually forced by Milind Deora, who authorized Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to negotiate the deal on her behalf.
Sources have revealed that a letter dated May 1, 2010, was written by Milind Deora, then MP in Congress, to Yes Bank chief Rana Kapoor proposing that the painting of Rajiv Gandhi be held in Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s possession to buy.
In the letter, he mentions that the painting Kapoor wants to buy and that he should contact Priyanka Gandhi for this reason, as she and her family members would be willing to sell the painting if the buyer respects it kept safe it deserves’.
Deora then wrote to Kapoor again on May 8, urgently looking for time to speak to him. A copy of his email is with OpIndia. This is followed by a series of text messages sent between May 8, 2010 and May 12, 2010. Deora continued to pursue Kapoor. The senior convention director is said to have followed up Kapoor to close the deal.
Eventually the deal was hit. On June 4, 2010, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wrote a letter to Rana Kapoor at Bungalow No. 1, Grand Paradi address in Mumbai. (Note that this is a 2010 home address and is not addressed to the CEO of Yes Bank.) She mentions that she is selling her father’s MF Hussain painting, which the painter gave him in 1985 on the occasion of the 100th . Birthday of Congress.
The BJP attacked Congress Secretary-General Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday for her alleged role in the controversy. At a press conference in the BJP office, party spokesman Sambit Patra said that wherever there is corruption, there must be the Congress party.
“What MF Hussain was to the world of painting, Congress is to corruption. If corruption is an art, Congress is its artist, ”said Patra.
Patra said the BJP is demanding that the entire episode selling Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s painting be investigated because “it got money from Kapoor’s account that had the money from criminal proceeds.
Following the revelation, Gandhi has now been accused of expropriating a souvenir granted to the Congress Party and of drawing financial dividends from unilaterally directing the sale of the artwork that officially belongs to the Congress Party. It is still unclear under what capacity Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sold this painting to Rana Kapoor.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor in the early hours of Sunday for money laundering. The banker was detained under the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) around 3 a.m. after failing to cooperate with the officials.
Rana was questioned by ED investigators for over 30 hours after the central agency searched his home Friday night. It is produced in a local court during the day for custody, officials said.
Yes Bank is in the middle of a crisis as it amassed a flood of bad loans in 2018 by lending to defaulting companies like DHFL, Jet Airways and Cafe Coffee Day and others. The bank was sentenced to a moratorium for a period of 30 days by the RBI and its withdrawals were limited to 50,000 rupees. The Reserve Bank of India has also announced the Yes Bank Ltd. Reconstruction Scheme, 2020 which will change the authorized capital to Rs 5000 crores and 2400 crore shares valued at Rs 10 each. In addition, SBI, which leads the consortium of banks investing in the “reconstructed bank”, will not reduce its stake below 26% for three years.