Padma awards, etc. instrument to buy ‘silence and loyalty’ under Congress

New Delhi: BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya said it is quite clear from Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor’s confession to the ED that the “Gandhis and Congress are not just extortionists but were also selling the country’s highest civilian honour to the highest bidder or durbaris.”

“….. It was an instrument to buy loyalty or silence,” he said.

Reacting to Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor’s allegation that he was forced to buy an M.F. Husain painting from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for Rs 2 crore, the BJP on Sunday (April 24) alleged that Gandhis and Congress were also selling the country’s highest civilian honour to the highest bidder.

“When the Congress was in power, Priyanka Gandhi put pressure to ensure that the painting worth Rs 2 crore is bought by Kapoor,” BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi.

“Rana Kapoor did not want to pay Rs 2 crore for the painting, but the ministers in the then Congress government put pressure on him that if he does not buy the painting from Priyanka Gandhi, then the Gandhi family will wreak havoc on him. To force him to buy the painting, Kapoor was told that he would get Padma Bhushan,” Bhatia said.

The BJP spokesperson asked Congress and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to clarify if such a painting was sold for Rs 2 crore by putting ‘pressure’ and luring Rana Kapoor with Padma Vibhushan.

Referring to the Congress election symbol ‘hand’, Bhatia said, “The Congress hand is with corruption… while common people were suffering, the Congress and the Gandhi family were enjoying.”

Kapoor told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was “forced” to buy the M F Husain painting from Priyanka Gandhi, and the sale proceeds were utilised by the Gandhi family for the medical treatment of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New York, according to the charge sheet filed by the anti-money laundering agency in a special court in Mumbai.

Kapoor also said he was told by the then petroleum minister Murli Deora that refusal to buy the painting would not only prevent him from building a relationship with the Gandhi family but also prevent him from getting the ‘Padma award’, it stated.

Kapoor has reportedly claimed that “Milind Deora (son of the late Murli Deora and former Congress MP) later conveyed to him confidentially that the sale proceeds were utilised by the Gandhi family for the medical treatment of Sonia Gandhi in New York,” according to the charge sheet.

BJP leader Amit Malviya referred to the ‘award wapsi’ gang and said, “The truth of the ‘award wapsi’ gang is now unravelling. They could either be people who had bought these awards or were beholden to the Gandhis for the crumbs they may have received off their table.”

“Their dissent at that time was politically motivated, and it is no more a secret,” Malviya said.

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