After a transaction involving Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former Yes Bank CEO Rana Kapoor has come to the fore, through an MF Husain painting, a war of words broke out between the BJP and the Congress over the Yes Bank crisis. Posting on Twitter a clip of a news channel report that Rana Kapoor, had bought a painting from Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, BJP's information and technology wing in-charge Amit Malviya alleged that every financial crime in India has "deep links" with the Gandhis.
Malviya tweeted, "Every financial crime in India has deep link with the Gandhis. Mallya used to send flight upgrade tickets to Sonia Gandhi. Had access to MMS (Manmohan Singh) and PC (P Chidambaram). Is absconding. Rahul inaugurated Nirav Modi's bridal jewellery collection, he defaulted. Rana bought Priyanka Vadra's paintings."
What is the controversy surrounding the Rajiv Gandhi portrait made by MF Hussain all about?
At the heart of the Rajiv Gandhi portrait controversy is June 4, 2010, letter written by Priyanka Gandhi to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor.
"Thank you for purchasing the portrait of my father, Shri Rajiv Gandhi painted by Shri MF Hussain which was presented to him in 1985 at the ceremony of Congress Party’s centenary celebrations and is present in my ownership and possession," Priyanka Gandhi's letter reads to Rana Kapoor reads.
Priyanka has also thanked Rana Kapoor for making a full payment through cheque. It is learnt that it took Rana Kapoor Rs 2 crore to buy the Rajiv Gandhi painting by legendary MF Hussain.
As per reports, the portrait was indeed the property of the Congress party made during the Centenary celebrations.
The sale of paintings requires certificates from experts for valuation. While Rana Kapoor has over 40 exquisite paintings in his possession, there is allegedly no certificate obtained from an expert for this painting in particular that he bought from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra which seems to raise questions over their connection.
Taking on to twitter, Malviya said Priyanka Vadra sold a painting, which she didn’t even own, to Rana Kapoor for a whopping two crore rupees.
"Apparently Priyanka Vadra sold a painting, which she didn’t even own, to Rana Kapoor for a whopping two crore rupees...This requires some serious talent!"
Apparently Priyanka Vadra sold a painting, which she didn’t even own, to Rana Kapoor for a whopping two crore rupees...— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) March 9, 2020
This requires some serious talent! pic.twitter.com/dnyAcjTin8
However, the Congress had rubbished Malviya's claim terming the charge as "fake" and said that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had sold an MF Husain painting of her father Rajiv Gandhi to Rana Kapoor for Rs 2 crore, and the entire amount was disclosed in her income tax return of 2010.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it was a "diversionary" tactic by the government. In an exclusive chat to India TV, Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed that talking of a painting while thousands of bad loans were processed shows how people are trying to divert the actual topic of Yes Bank crisis.
He noted that the bank's loan book rose from Rs 55,633 crore in March 2014, the year Narendra Modi became the prime minister, to Rs 2,41,499 crore in March 2019.
"Why did the loan book rise by 100 per cent in two years after demonetisation i.e from Rs 98,210 cr in March 2016 to Rs 2,03,534 cr in March 2018? Were PM and FM sleeping, ignorant or complicit?" he asked.
The entire amount Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had received was in cheque and was fully disclosed in the income tax return, Singhvi added.
(With PTI inputs)