Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday seized a painting of Rajiv Gandhi sold by the late ex-prime minister’s daughter and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor in 2010.
The work of art painted by the legendary MF Hussain is at the heart of a political storm which was triggered with the arrest of Kapoor for alleged money laundering.
The BJP had questioned how Priyanka Gandhi could profit from selling a painting that wasn’t her own, while the Congress hit back saying she had inherited the painting and had declared the transaction in her income tax filing as well.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimhra Rao said Priyanka's husband Robert Vadra is accused of using "shady methods to make windfall profits from dubious real estate transactions" and said the report of her receiving Rs 2 crore from Kapoor for a painting which was not her own shows that the powerful couple have leveraged their political power to make "private gains".
The Congress rejected the BJP's charge as fake, saying there was no illegality in the transaction. It said the allegation was a diversionary tactic by the Narendra Modi government.
"Who is responsible for letting the YES Bank sink and people's earnings go down the drain? Was Modi Government sleeping on the wheel or was it complicit in a deliberate sinking of the YES Bank? Modi Ji, you need to answer instead of diverting the issue," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters.
"Prime Minister, you need to tell the nation what is the BJP's connection to the Yes Bank and its owner," he said.