NDA should not try to settle scores of public life: Vaghela

NDA should not try to settle scores of public life: Vaghela

Former Union Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, against whom CBI filed an FIR for selling NTC land allegedly at "throwaway prices", today warned the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government not to settle scores of public life.

"NDA should not try to settle scores of public life. Today they are there (in power) and tomorrow, someone else will be there and nobody will be spared, from Prime Minister to Chief Minister or the entire Cabinet, skeletons will come out from their cupboards also," Vaghela, the Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, told reporters here.

"They should not waste time in such activities rather they should do some positive work," the Congress leader said.

The CBI had yesterday filed an FIR against Vaghela and six others for sale of National Textile Corporation's land in Mumbai to a Kolkata-based private firm, causing an alleged loss of Rs 709 crore to public exchequer.

The central probe agency had also raided his house in Gandhinagar along with eight other places in the country.

Vaghela had started his political career with the BJP. He along with Modi and former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel had helped BJP come to power in the state for the first time in 1995. But due to his difference with Modi and Patel, Vaghela split from the BJP in 1996 to become Gujarat's Chief Minister. However, in the 1998 election, he badly lost to the BJP and merged his party with Congress.

Vaghela, who is a bitter rival of Modi in state politics since then, reiterated that he did no wrong and his life is like an open book.

"This vindictiveness is not good. The people in public life should not throw stones on others if they themselves live in glass houses. They threw stones at my home, but did not get anything. My life is like an open book, I did not do any illegitimate transactions," he said.

When asked if CBI was going through the documents belonging to him, Vaghela said, "I will tell two things about documents. One is my bank account, which is like public document. That consists of my transactions details."

"My trust is working and a foundation is also working. This is known to everyone. I pay instalments of Rs 7 crore loan to Union bank, which is due for this month. Apart from that, it is donation which has been given by people. This is what it is," he said.
"There is nothing confidential. People in public life should not live with double standards. Therefore any party can neither blackmail nor bargain with you," he said.
Taking a jibe, Vaghela claimed that the whole Congress party is with him like the entire BJP and RSS are with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in connection with the Lalit Modi issue.

"I have talked to every one (Congress leader), including Ahmed Patel, Rahul Gandhi. Party President Sonia Gandhi was out somewhere, so could not talk to her, Chidambaram talked in press yesterday, AICC spokesperson Randip Surjewala talked about it. Bharatsinh and Siddharth Patel visited me today. So the entire party is behind me," the leader asserted.

"If Sushma is culprit and even though the entire BJP and RSS are saying that we are one, same thing applies to Congress, the party is behind me, they (Congress leaders) are saying we are with Vaghela. There is no question of private transaction. This is subject of open transaction," he said.

Vaghela said he will decide further course of legal action in next four to five days.
"They filed the FIR but I do not know what is there in the FIR. I will try to get the copy of that FIR through my lawyer in four-five days. Everything is in Mumbai CBI," he said.

"One should be legally sound when NDA government is trying to settle scores with someone," Vaghela quipped.

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