In a series of emails, Congress MP Milind Deora can be seen to be acting as a conduit between Rana Kapoor and Priyanka Gandhi, and negotiating the sale of the painting.
Milind Deora, who was a sitting MP at the time, can be seen desperately asking Yes Bank CEO Rana Kapoor to set up a meeting. “Pls call when free,” Deora had told Kapoor on 30th April 2010. It appears that the two met nearly a week later, when Deora asked Kapoor for his exact address. Kapoor doesn’t seem to have gotten back to Deora after the meeting. “Please call when free,” he again messaged on 10th May. A while later, Deora messaged “No one’s called yet”. Two hours later, Deora made yet another desperate appeal. “Kindly call urgent. With your colleagues.”
It appears that Deora was being tasked by someone else to ensure the sale of the painting. “Uncle kindly reply to my email as I need to revert to my boss about timelines,” Deora wrote on 12th May. “I need to convey a timeframe for when the cheque will be given. Even if you take some more time pls give me a date as they are asking me. I only fear that they should not lose interest,” he wrote on 20th May.
It appears that Rana Kapoor wasn’t particularly interested in the sale of the painting. But Milind Deora was unrelenting. “I’m trying to reach you for a few days now. Need to know when the cheque will be ready. Even if it’s taking a week or so, it’s not a problem. But you must let me know a rough date asap as I have to communicate the same to delhi immediately. And afraid that further delays in communicating the date to Delhi will give them the impression that the bank is not serious. This might scuttle the transaction and won’t create a good impression in their minds,” Deora wrote.
Two things are clear from Deora’s last message. Firstly, the transaction was on behalf of Yes Bank, and not for Rana Kapoor in his personal capacity (“the bank is not serious”). Secondly, there was a veiled threat threat in case Kapoor didn’t buy the painting (“won’t create a good impression in their minds”).
It appears that at this point Kapoor agreed to buy the painting, and the remaining messages are about the logistics of the sale.
But Kapoor still was hesitant, and on 20th May, Deora sent yet another pleading SMS. “Rana uncle, I received your letter dated may 28th and have sent the same to PG (Priyanka Gandhi). A meeting with her or her family wont be possible now but I’ll try and arrange it sometime later. Her mother and she want the cheque by early next week itstef. Even my father has been informed by them and he’s also been trying to reach you unsuccessfully. Unfortunately this has taken really long. Can you pls reply to this SMS and tell me the exact date by when the cheque can be given to her as I MUST communicate the same to my father and her ASAP. I know you’re receiving SMSes so id really appreciate your reply,” he wrote.
The sale was concluded, and Rana Kapoor handed over a cheque of Rs. 2 crore that was made out to Priyanka Gandhi in June.