It’s nothing new for us to watch a member of India’s most prestigious political dynasty-the Gandhi family under fire every now and then, grabbing the headlines, unfortunately for wrong reasons. While our dearest “Rahul Baba” gets trolled in the social media for even the slightest follies and his amateurish demeanor when in public, his brother-in-law or the “Damaad ji”, his highness Robert Vadra seems to be roiled in some or the other controversy and have become the most tempting fodder for the news writers.
The poster boy of scandals and one of the “proud” heirs of the Gandhi clan is under the radar of the saffron brigade yet again, for being involved with an arms dealer suspect named Sanjay Bhandari.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi to break their silence on this issue. Backed by other BJP leaders on this issue Sitharaman reiterated that if the Congress’s silence on this issue will discern Vadra guilty of charges.
According to investigations conducted into a series of emails and bank transactions held between Vadra and Bhandari, it was revealed that the missing arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari booked business class tickets for Vadra in 2012.
In a shocking revelation, a travel agent booked tickets worth Rs 10 lakhs via International Travel Home, all in business class, for Robert Vadra.
A nexus between Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari first came under the spotlight when Vadra’s London flat at 12 Ellerton House Bryanston Square, was renovated by Bhandari in 2016.
The bank account transactions between Vadra and Bhandari also revealed that a lump sum amount of 7.5 Swiss francs was deposited in Bhandari’s account, which raised suspicion if this was the amount spent on refurbishing Vadra’s London flat.
While addressing a press conference Nirmala Sitharaman stated, “Why senior leadership of the Congress, including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, is keeping a stoic silence?” Her remarks came especially in response to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s tweets against the current BJP led NDA government.
Even the BJP spokesperson G.V.L Narasimha Rao launched a scathing attack on Congress, saying, “ If you believe that Vadra is innocent and then why not file a defamation suit?… the silence shows guilt.”
Sanjay Bhandari is wanted by the CBI for his alleged links in swinging a jet trainer deal for Swiss company Pilatus. After probing the case the CBI recovered an illegal chain of emails between the two offices which disclosed a huge amount of 7,50,000 Swiss francs deposited in Sanjay Bhandari’s account.
After the news of Vadra’s controversial links spread union Minister Smriti Irani trained her guns at Rahul Gandhi asking for his “poetic explanation” on his accused brother-in-law’s case. Robert Vadra is also associated with many illegal land deals in the state of Haryana during the Congress reign. According to Dhingra Commission set up to probe the illegal land deals under the ML Khattar government in 2015, Robert Vadra made unlawful profits worth 50 crores in 2008 in a land deal without spending even a single penny.
All these deals were undertaken with the licenses granted to Robert Vadra owned company Sky Hospitality.