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Is there Some Connection Between YES Bank’s Rana Kapoor and Milind Deora of Congress?

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

As Rana Kapoor, the former CEO of YES Bank, faces the heat of investigative agencies for his alleged actions, documents that The True Picture has seen seem to raise doubts on the number of layers that the Rana Kapoor-Priyanka Gandhi Vadra connection appears to have, with a major Congress leader in Mumbai, Milind Deora, allegedly involved.

The Curious Case of the ₹2 crore Painting

Documentary evidence of messages allegedly exchanged between Rana Kapoor and Milind Deora seems to suggest that Milind Deora was apparently working as the negotiator on behalf of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the painting that has been under much discussion.

The painting under question is the painting that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had allegedly sold to YES Bank’s founder Rana Kapoor. To that end, media outlets shared pictures of a letter apparently written by Priyanka Vadra to Rana on June 4, 2010 that thanked him for buying Rajeev Gandhi’s painting for ₹2 crore. In the letter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also acknowledged receipt of payment done by Rana Kapoor by cheque dated June 3, 2010 alongside the cheque’s copy. (The contact numbers and email addresses have been screened out by us to ensure privacy.)

Talking to Rana ‘Uncle’ – Proximity between Milind Deora and Rana Kapoor?

Text messages sent out allegedly by Milind Deora suggest that Deora was apparently working to get the painting sold for more than a month. Messages were first sent towards the end of April 2010, and an email allegedly from Milind Deora dated 8 May 2010 also seems to be requesting time to speak with Rana Kapoor. with one message apparently sent on 12 May 2010 requesting Rana to reply to emails as ‘I need to revert to my boss about timelines’. Apparent reference to Kapoor with the epithet ‘uncle’ also suggests some degree of familiarity between the two.

In just over a week’s time, another message was sent allegedly by Deora to Kapoor, urging the latter to convey a timeframe for giving the cheque. ‘Even if it will take some more time pls give me a date as they are asking me. I only fear that they should not lose interest,’ the message dated 20 May 2010 read, signed off with Milind. The message was sent around 2:50 pm.

Did the Deal Almost Get Called Off?

Messages sent between the 20th and 27th May of 2010 seem to suggest that there was considerable tension over the deal, and perhaps almost got called off. Apparently, ‘PG’ was not willing to give a letter confirming the sale of the painting before the cheque was received. ‘PG’ seems to have eventually relented, and the letter was eventually prepared, collected from one Rakesh by some Sanjay on the apparent instruction of Milind Deora. However, the cheque was apparently still not coming through – on 27th May, Milind allegedly sent another message to Kapoor, asking him about the status of the cheque. ‘Rana uncle, by when will you hand over the cheque to PG? My father needs to know ASAP and communicate the same,” wrote Milind. On the same day, around 9:48 pm, Milind seems to have sent a message requesting an urgent call between him, his father late Murli Deora and Rana Kapoor.

As per the documents seen by the True Picture, a message was allegedly sent at midnight of 2 June 2010, wherein Milind supposedly asked Rana to tell if the cheque could be given by tomorrow.

Murkiness in the deal was earlier evident from the reports in the media, as the Congress kept saying that the painting was sold by Priyanka Vadra and the payment was made in a transparent manner. However, sources of the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the matter, told India Today that ED sources say that the portrait of Rajiv Gandhi by MF Husain was the property of Congress party and not Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Looking at these messages, it seems that the negotiation for the painting was a hard bargain, which apparently involved considerable time and effort on part of some Congress leaders of stature.