Jalandhar: The Congress has dismissed former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's allegation that Rahul Gandhi evaded tax in land purchase in a village in Palwal district as 'baseless'. The party said the charge against Congress' general secretary is "entirely false, utterly baseless and defamatory".
Mr Alvi said Rahul had purchased the land and paid the amount for it as well the duty on it. "What is wrong in it," he asked.
"The allegations made by Chautala against Rahul Gandhi are totally baseless. Chautala should think about himself and his sons first rather than making allegations against others," party spokesman Rashid Alvi said.
The INLD chief had demanded investigation into Mr Gandhi's land deal by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Mr Gandhi's office had yesterday termed the charges as "entirely false, utterly baseless and defamatory".
"Rahul Gandhi purchased a piece of land measuring around 6.5 acre in Hasanpur village in Palwal district of Haryana in March 2008. He resorted to tax evasion in it. Rahul bought this land at the rate of Rs 1.5 lakh per acre as mentioned in the land registration deed even as its valuation by the government at that time was Rs 8 lakh per acre," Mr Chautala had alleged.
In a strong point by point rebuttal, Rahul Gandhi's office said he purchased 51 Kanal, 13 Marla (6.456 acres) of Sailab land in Hassanpur Village of Hodal Tehsil in Palwal district.
"The land was purchased for a total purchase price of Rs 26.47 lakh paid for by cheque, which is the equivalent of Rs 4.10 lakh per acre. The prevailing Collector Rate for Sailab Land in Hassanpur Village, Tehsil Hodal for 2007-08 and as of March 3 2008, the date of purchase was Rs 1.5 lakh per acre. "Gandhi paid stamp duty of six percent amounting to Rs 01 lakh 58 thousand 820 on the purchase price of Rs 26.47 lakh at a rate of Rs 4 lakh 10 thousand six per acre (i.e. at over 2.7x the prevailing Collector Rate)," a release by the office of the Congress leader said.
However, Mr Chautala countered Congress' claim by saying, "I have given all the proof and evidence required. There has been proof of registration and Rahul Gandhi's photo along with the registry had come out. He should have made clarifications. He is wrong. I have sent the proof to everyone. If they feel that there is something wrong, let there be an inquiry."
Mr Chautala also claimed that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's "benevolence" has helped Robert Vadra purchase properties worth several crores allegedly at "throw away prices" and demanded a probe by a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court.