Earlier on Friday morning, Lalit Modi had created political ripples by pulling in names of Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra in his latest bout of tweets.

Lalit Modi claims he ran into Priyanka and Robert Vadra during their London visit

Even as the BJP on Friday decided to brazen out the attack mounted on its leaders, Congress mounted an all-out offensive against Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, digging out documents allegedly showing Lalit Modi’s Rs13-crore investment in a firm owned by her son. The party also accused Raje of going out of the way to put the state government’s resources at the service of a Portugal foundation whose hospital had treated Lalit Modi’s wife.Earlier on Friday morning, Lalit Modi had created political ripples by pulling in names of Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra in his latest bout of tweets. Though Modi did not say Priyanka and Robert Vadra had met him, the BJP picked the lead asking Congress president Sonia Gandhi to explain about this meeting. “The Congress must explain. Why Mrs Gandhi is silent,” asked BJP spokesman Sambit Patra.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another spokesman GVL Narsimha Rao sought answer from Priyanka: “What is the relationship between the Gandhi family and Lalit Modi. Why did Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra met Lalit Modi in London? Priyanka Gandhi to clarify in public.”The Congress was equally fast to deny any significance of Modi’s tweets regarding Priyanka. Its chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala asserted that neither Priyanka nor her husband ever interacted socially with the absconding IPL founder and running into anybody in a restaurant was not a crime. “They just ran into him in a London restaurant. If you see an individual in a restaurant full of people, it is neither a crime nor it is morally wrong,” he said. Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka and Robert Vadra are in London for a family get-together.Congress spokesman Randip Singh Surjiwala said Lalit Modi was clearly trying to divert attention from the pressure on her friend Raje to step down as she stands exposed for testifying on his asylum application. But, later at a regular press briefing, Surjewala didn’t reply to questions on Modi’s reference to Priyanka.The interpretation of their meeting him came from his opening tweet: “Happy to meet the Gandhi Family in London.” But the further tweets made it clear that there was no meeting as such as he said: “I had run into Robert and Priyanka separately in a resturant (sic) – they were with Timmy Sarna. He has my no. They can call me. Will tell them what I feel about them exactly. Will mince no words. Will make no deal. But tell them witch hunt will now make them realise I was…” Notably, Timmy Sarna, who is mentioned in the above tweet, is the managing director of DLF brands. A clever hint at Robert Vadra’s Haryana land deals with DLF that are under controversy.Dr Joshi exposed how Raje had gone out of the way to put the state government’s resources at the service of a Portugal foundation whose hospital had treated Lalit Modi’s wife. Reading out from the MoU signed in October 2012, the state government will not only provide land to the foundation but also construct the building, provide doctors, nurses and other staff and pay for the equipment and yet it will not run the hospital. A clause in the MoU says the hospital will be run by an autonomous society. Is it not a quid-pro-quo for the Portuguese hospital treating Lalit Modi’s wife, asked Dr Joshi.Further, releasing a set of documents, another Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said Modi had benefitted Raje’s son Dushyant, her son-in-law and daughter-in-law by buying 815 shares worth Rs10/- of their company ‘Niyant Heritage Hotel Pvt Ltd’ for a whopping Rs 96,190. However, what seems to have been overlooked is that the beneficiaries of this windfall favour by Lalit Modi was not only Raje’s kins, but Raje herself, as a one-third owner of the company.”If one were to look at the election affidavit filed by Raje in 2013, it becomes clear that she owns 3,280 shares of Rs 10 each in Niyant Heritage Hotel Pvt Ltd. Once Lalit Modi accomplished the blatant quid pro quo of surreptitiously benefiting Raje of Rs 11.60crore by buying shares and giving unsecured loans in 2009, Raje conveniently acquired shares of the company after that,” he said.In her defence, Rajasthan CM’s office had claimed that Modi paid big bucks for equity in her son’s firm because the real estate value of the Raje family’s assets, including its ancestral palace, was worth more than Rs300 crore. But Dushyant’s tax returns filed in 2013 show the family palace not as an asset of his firm, but in the name of a dependent; the value of the heritage mansion is declared as Rs16 crore.

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Congress sees red, ups ante on Vasundhara Raje