Gandhinagar, Jun 17: Former Union textile minister and Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela has termed as "BJP's vendetta politics" the FIR registered against him by CBI in connection with the sale of a prime property in Mumbai allegedly at "throwaway prices" to a private firm.
Refuting allegations of any wrongdoing during his tenure as the minister in the UPA-I, Vaghela, currently the Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly said, "It has been seven years of UPA-I. Why the inquiry was not initiated in these seven to ten years (the sale of land took place in 2007-08). This is nothing but vendetta politics of BJP."
The FIR states that action of Vaghela and others caused a loss of Rs 709 crore to the exchequer. "NTC was in a bad shape when I took over.
People were encroaching upon the NTC mill compounds. There was no wrongdoing in the sale of land of NTC," Vaghela said, adding that some four to five plots of land of NTC mills were sold in Mumbai and some three in Ahmedabad.
"I would tell the NDA government that thief is scolding the police. The day will come when we will not hesitate to expose Chief Minister (Anadiben Patel) or Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)," Vaghela, also the former chief minister, said.
The veteran politician from Gujarat had begun his political career with the BJP but later fell out with the saffron party and shifted his loyalty to Congress.
"They (BJP) want to settle old accounts with me and that is the reason they are digging out old skeletons," he said.
Daring the BJP-led state and Central governments to arrest him, Vaghela said, "If there is an FIR against me then arrest me."
"The Congress is going strong and in the forthcoming elections to local bodies in the state as well as in Assembly elections in 2017. We have decided to uproot the BJP from its stronghold of Gujarat," he added.
Vaghela said around 12 CBI officials arrived at his residence in Gandhinagar at 6 AM and launched the search operation which continued till 5 PM.
"I have fully cooperated with the CBI officers and it seems that it was conducted under direction from top," he said.