Rana Kapoor has "cleverly accused people who are not alive", a Congress leader said today in response to the Yes Bank co-founder's allegations against veteran leaders of the grand old party, the late Murli Deora and Ahmed Patel.
Kapoor, an accused in a money laundering case, has told the Enforcement Directorate that he was "forced" to buy an M F Husain painting from Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the sale proceeds were utilised by the Gandhi family for the treatment of party president Sonia Gandhi in New York.
The statements are part of a supplementary chargesheet filed by the central agency in a special court.
Mr Kapoor has said that the painting was sold to him in a "force sale for which I was never ready". He said then petroleum minister Murli Deora had told him that delay in purchasing it "could have adverse repercussion on my and my Yes Bank and that it would also "not permit me ever to build a relationship with the Gandhi family". Also, Mr Deora told him that not buying the painting will also ruin his chances of being awarded a Padma Bhushan.
"What can you expect from a person accused in a Rs 5000 crore scam? He has cleverly accused people who are not alive," said a Congress leader in response to the allegations.
Kapoor has claimed that he had paid Rs 2 crore for the painting and that Milind Deora, former Congress MP and son of Murli Deora, had later told him that the sale proceeds were utilised by the Gandhi family for the treatment of Mrs Gandhi in New York.
Kapoor has also said that Ahmed Patel, close confidante of Sonia Gandhi, had told him that by supporting the Gandhi family at the opportune time, "I had performed a good deed for the family and it would be duly considered for the 'Padma Bhushan' award."
"Under this threat and against my family's wishes, since we are not high-value Art Collectors, I could not afford to invite any form of enmity with the two powerful families involved and thus I had to hesitatingly proceed given the looming and overhanging threat involved," Mr Kapoor has told the Enforcement Directorate, states the chargesheet.
Kapoor has said formalities for closing the deal were held at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's office. "Milind Deora had actively coordinated this final closing meeting. I wish to state that for this deal, I had made a payment of Rs 2 crore through a cheque of my personal account in HSBC Bank," he said.
Kapoor has, however, stressed that he "never met any one from the Gandhi family".
The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that Kapoor and Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan siphoned off funds worth Rs 5,050 crore through suspicious transactions.
Kapoor is currently in judicial custody following his arrest in the case in March 2020. The Wadhwans too are in jail custody after their arrest in another case.