Three days after Arvind Kejriwal accused Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law
Robert Vadra of having helped real estate giants DLF in return for
favours, the BJP's Shanta Kumar has demanded that property in Himachal
Pradesh, sold to Mrs Gandhi's daughter, Priyanka, should also be
probed. Mr Kumar has written to activist Arvind Kejriwal, asking him to
seek details of the transaction.
Mr Kejriwal retaliated
brusquely; pointing out that Mr Kumar's own party is in power in
Himachal Pradesh, so sharing the information is the BJP's
Last week, Mr Kejriwal and lawyer-activist
Prashant Bhushan whipped up a political controversy by alleging that
Priyanka's husband received interest-free loan and discounted apartments
in posh projects built by real estate giant DLF.
Vadra is constructing a house at Chharbara, 12 km from Shimla. An acre
of land was bought by Mrs Vadra in 2007 after the-then Congress
government relaxed rules in her favour. Land in Himachal Pradesh can't
be bought by non-residents under the state's laws.
The land for
Priyanka was apparently given in two installments, the second was
released by BJP chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who is now in power.
Kumar, a former chief minister, though has deliberately taken on the
BJP government in the state while making his demand for the probe.
Analysts say that Mr Kumar's googly is meant to hurt the incumbent chief
minister Mr Dhumal, who is going to be fighting elections in the next
two months. The BJP has been handicapped by in-fighting, especially
between the Dhumal and Kumar camps for the last few months.
Kejriwal, who launched a political party last week, said today in an
emailed statement, "Shanta Kumar is saying he does not have information.
We don't understand this. He can find this out very fast as his party
is in power. We appeal to Shanta Kumar and Chief Minister P K Dhumal
that they tell the public whether Priyanka has any property in Shimla as
is alleged. We also know that no outsiders can buy property in
Himachal without the state government's permission. If this is true,
when was Priyanka Vadra given permission to buy property in the state
and which government gave it."
In an attempt to make it clear
that his new party does not side with any existing political party, Mr
Kejriwal's statement added, "We want to bring their attention to the
fact that BJP is also involved in this loot as any other party is. The
same story is coming out in other states also where BJP is in power."(With inputs from agencies)