Politics

Congress and BJP Lock Horns Over MF Hussain Painting Sold by Priyanka Gandhi to Rana Kapoor for Rs 2 Crore

Rubbishing BJP’s charges, the Congress said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had sold an MF Hussain painting of her father Rajiv Gandhi to Rana Kapoor for Rs 2 crore, and the entire amount was disclosed in her income tax return of 2010.

New Delhi: A war of words broke out between the BJP and Congress on Sunday over the Yes Bank crisis with the ruling party seeking to link it with the Gandhi family, while the opposition wondered if the prime minister and finance minister were “complicit” as the bank’s loan book grew manifold.

Posting on Twitter a clip of a news channel report that Rana Kapoor, the arrested Yes Bank founder, had bought a painting from Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, BJP’s information and technology wing in-charge Amit Malviya alleged that every financial crime in India has “deep links” with the Gandhis.

Hitting back, the Congress said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had sold an MF Hussain painting of her father Rajiv Gandhi to Kapoor for Rs 2 crore, and the entire amount was disclosed in her income tax return of 2010.

Malviya tweeted, “Every financial crime in India has deep link with the Gandhis. Mallya used to send flight upgrade tickets to Sonia Gandhi. Had access to MMS (Manmohan Singh) and PC (P Chidambaram). Is absconding. Rahul inaugurated Nirav Modi’s bridal jewellery collection, he defaulted. Rana bought Priyanka Vadra’s paintings.”

Rubbishing the allegation, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it was a “diversionary” tactic by the government.

He noted that the bank’s loan book rose from Rs 55,633 crore in March 2014, the year Narendra Modi became prime minister, to Rs 2,41,499 crore in March 2019.

“Why did the loan book rise by 100 per cent in two years after demonetisation i.e from Rs 98,210 cr in March 2016 to Rs 2,03,534 ar in March 2018? Were PM and FM sleeping, ignorant or complicit?” he asked.

The entire amount Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had received was in cheque and was fully disclosed in the income tax return, Singhvi said.

Congress spokesperson Randeen Singh Surjewala, too, defended Priyanka Gandhi, questioning how the sale of the painting connected with the ongoing Yes Bank crisis.

“How does an M.F.Hussain painting of Rajivji sold TEN yrs ago by Priyanka Ji to Yes Bank owner, Rana Kapoor & disclosed in her Tax Returns connect with unprecedented giving of loans of Rs 2,00,000 CR in 5 yrs of Modi Govt? More so, when proximity to BJP leaders is well known,” he said.

Kapoor, 62, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai after charges of alleged financial irregularities and mismanagement in the bank’s operations surfaced and the RBI and Union government initiated action to control its affairs.

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