In his latest statement to the ED (Enforcement Directorate), Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor confessed that he was forced to buy a painting of M F Husain from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Kapoor also said that the sale money was used by the Gandhi family for Sonia Gandhi's medical treatment in New York City.
Kapoor said, "First of all I wish to state that it was a forced sale for which I was never ready".
As per the charge sheet filed by the federal anti-money laundering agency in a special court, Mr Kapoor said that the then petroleum minister Murli Deora told him about the consequences of rejecting the purchase. Kapoor said that the minister warned him saying if he refuses to buy the painting, he will not be able to build a relationship with the Gandhi family and that might result in him not getting the Padma Bhushan award.
Talking about Murli Deora, Kapoor said, "He had even made me several calls and messages also in this regard from multiple mobile numbers. In fact, I was very much reluctant to go for this deal and I had tried also to avoid this deal several times by ignoring his calls/messages and personal meetings. Despite my best efforts to avoid this deal they were exceptionally persistent to finalise the deal rapidly," Kapoor said in the charge sheet.
Mr Kapoor, his family, DHFL promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan along with many others are currently facing a money laundering case.
Mr Kapoor stated that he paid an amount of Rs 2 Crore in cheque for the painting. He also said that he was later informed by Milind Deora (son of the late Murli Deora and former Congress MP) that the amount he paid for the painting was used by the Gandhi family for Sonia Gandhi's medical treatment in New York.
Mr Kapoor also told the ED about his interaction with Ahmed Patel, who is considered to be a close confidante of Sonia Gandhi. Kapoor recollected Patel's words in which Patel had told him that he is doing a good deed by supporting Gandhis during an opportune time for Sonia Gandhi's medical treatment and he would be duly considered for the Padma Bhushan award.
Mr Kapoor is currently in judicial custody after he was arrested in a money laundering case in March 2020.