Vadra missing records row: Cong attacks BJP

Vadra missing records row: Cong attacks BJP

Accusing BJP of running a "smear campaign" against Robert Vadra as part of a "mischievous ploy", Congress today questioned the timing and manner in which reports about pages missing from records on DLF-Vadra land deal appeared in the media ahead of polls in two states.

"For the last several months, there has been a sustained campaign to defame and tarnish Vadra's reputation. Solely for political reasons, baseless allegations are being levelled with a media trial against him," party general secretary Ajay Maken said describing the episode as "politically motivated".

Reacalling that a day before polling in Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir there was a news item in a national daily that two pages from a file related to Vadra are missing, Maken said,"the whole day, channels discuss it...

"And what do the papers say today after the political objective has been met and people's minds influenced. Today a national daily claims that papers have been found."

Noting that it was also stated that the officials have said that the papers contained nothing substantial, the Congress Communication department Chairmamn alleged, "this non-event was used ahead of an election to destroy a person’s reputation just because he is related to a political family."

Attacking the BJP government in Haryana, he said, "When this report came and the whole day when channels kept discussing it, why were you silent all that time?

"Only because for political reasons you wanted that for the whole day one person's reputation should be shredded and tarnished because he is a close relative of Congress president and vice-president," he added.

The Congress leader said that a statement by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has also appeared in a newspaper saying that the government is in possession of a separate copy of the file with all documents in it. "Then why did you not deny the reports earlier?" he asked.

"I would urge them (BJP) to refrain from such narrow agendas which may serve them well in the short term but do enormous harm to a private person’s reputation, violating baseless smear campaign being carried out against a particular individual," he said.  Maken also referred to the reported statement of the Chief Secretary of Haryana that appeared in media today that six months ago the entire file had been released into the public domain in response to an RTI application during the tenure of the Congress Government.

Maintaining that the public should be made aware of the fact that it was the Congress government which released the entire file, Maken said,"I want to now ask the current government how could the papers have gone missing under your watch when barely six months ago we released the entire file, unedited, into the public domain?

"As a result of a state’s purported negligence or a deliberate mischievous ploy, an individual was unfairly named and shamed just because of his relationship with a political family."

He said that similarly before the elections in Rajasthan, the BJP carried out a "systematic and sustained campaign against Vadra to mislead" the innocent electorate of Rajasthan to vote for the BJP.

"It has now been one year since the BJP came to power in the State of Rajasthan yet no new facts, let alone any evidence, has been produced before the public," he said in a statement.

Asking the media to "introspect" on whether they are being "used deliberately or inadvertently to further a particular political agenda", the  Congress leader alleged,"A limited political campaign is being furthered through the means of the media."

Claiming that an impression had been created through the media that investigations were not gaining pace when Congress was in power at the Centre, Maken said media should be careful about being "misused" for political interests. "Media should understand (from) the kind of timing. The way a misinformation campaign has been going for a year and baseless allegations levelled... if it is being used as a proxy to launch attacks," Maken said.

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