BJP accuses Sonia, Rahul of corruption after withdrawal of I-T exemption to Young Indian
The BJP on Saturday accused Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi of “corruption” following the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholding the withdrawal of I-T exemption to Young Indian, and said “this is the family model of development after the Vadra model of development”.
Addressing a press conference here, BJP leader and Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there is a judicial affirmation that “family and commerce go hand in hand and the family invokes platforms and dubious methods for enrichment”.
“After the Vadra model of development, this is the family model of development. They teach you to become owners of properties worth Rs 2,000 crore at an investment of just Rs 50 lakh. The Rs 2000 crore is just an assumption, it could be even higher,” he said.
He said the BJP condemns this “palpable, dubious transaction of undue enrichment”.
“It is simply corruption. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should stop talking about corruption. The veil has been lifted by the court’s decision. I want to ask both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, will they tell the nation the truth about this entire engagement? Will they answer the questions of the people of the country?” he asked.
Prasad said that the BJP-led government has been in office for over five years and they felt that “saga of a family would have reduced” but “the story of the family is still coming up”.
“For Congress, family and commerce run hand-in-hand, are integrally linked and given a political colour,” he said.
He said India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru started the National Herald newspaper, which stopped in 2008. “Even after that, Rs 90 crore was given to the paper and government property worth Rs 2,000 crore were handed to it,” he said.
Prasad said that Young India Ltd was formed in 2010 and was exempted from income tax and Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda were part of this company.
“We have no hesitation in holding that the entire transaction of transferring the shares of AJL to Young India was nothing but, as held by the learned court, a clandestine and surreptitious transfer of lucrative interests in the premises to Young India,” the minister said.
He said when they applied for charitable trust status in 2010, “it was not disclosed that property worth Rs 2000 crore had come for Rs 50 lakh”.
The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal on Friday upheld the withdrawal of I-T exemption granted to the Young Indian, an entity majorly controlled by Sonia Gandhi and her family since 2011-12. The income tax department had last year levied about Rs 145 crore tax on Young Indian.