Monday, 18 November 2019

Vadra & Congress Two Sides Of The Same Coin?

Updated: January 24, 2015 5:10 am

Vadra’s marriage into the first family of Congress has really brought him in the limelight. Vadra family has also acquired a spark of glamour. It has come under the prying eyes of the people eager to know and watch all that goes in the family. It was, therefore, but natural that Vadra’s rocketing business fortunes should raise eyebrows and grab media space

Robert Vadra is an individual who has every right to jump into any business or avocation. Like every other citizen of India he is governed by the laws of the land and is expected to respect these.

It is a coincidence that he is married into the Gandhi family whose head also happens to be the national President of the Congress Party. Marriage, even if between two political families, yet remains a private and personal bonding; it can never acquire a political hue. Vadra’s wife, Mrs. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is a star campaigner of the Congress Party though she confines herself to campaigning only for the two parliamentary constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul Gandhi, respectively, represent. Even if Vadra were a Congress office-bearer, that does not push the whole Congress in the thick and thin of whatever he does or does not do. For all the rights and wrongs he alone is individually and personally responsible and accountable. The Congress party comes nowhere in the picture.

Vadra’s marriage into the first family of Congress has really brought him in the limelight. Vadra family has also acquired a spark of glamour. It has come under the prying eyes of the people eager to know and watch all that goes in the family. It was, therefore, but natural that Vadra’s rocketing business fortunes should raise eyebrows and grab media space. It is only because of his being a son-in-law of the Gandhi family that he enjoys great privileges. He has been extended security and provided a government bungalow to provide protection to a member of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s family. He is not subjected to frisking at airports, a privilege and courtesy not extended even to Union ministers and members of parliament elected by the people. As an individual Vadra has every right to acquire any land or property. As a political party Congress should have no role in such dealings. But it was the piercing public gaze that discovered Vadra’s land acquiring spree confined to the two States of Haryana and Rajasthan, incidentally, then both ruled by Congress. It would be preposterous to assume or allege that the Congress party or its supremo had recommended his cases in writing or orally. Robert Vadra is a known figure in Congress; he begs no introduction or recommendation. His very name and presence is a self-recommendation which a leader or chief minister of the party could dare to ignore only at his/her peril.

It is also a well-known fact that nothing moves in Congress and the party-run governments without the supremo’s nod, implicit or explicit. The powers-that-be then in Haryana were also politically agile to understand what would make their supreme bosses in Delhi smile or scowl. Robert Vadra concentrated all his attention and energy to the two state governments of Haryana and Rajasthan neighbouring Delhi from where he operates. Further, officers who proved hurdles in realizing his designs, like Ashok Khemka of Haryana, were humiliated and harassed as much as the governments could.

The moment there is a report about Vadra in the media, it raises hackles in the Congress Party. It is most vocal in denying the allegations as “baseless, false, politically motivated” and what not. On his part, Vadra observes the rule: silence is gold. All that he once said in his Facebook comment was: “Mango people in banana republic.”

In the latest incident, media was agog with reports that two pages of a file in which some land transactions had been cleared by the then Haryana government had gone missing. While, as his wont, Vadra preferred to remain imprisoned in his self-acquired seclusion and silence, the Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken instantly alleged “…..there has been a sustained campaign to defame and tarnish Vadra’s reputation. Solely for political reasons, baseless allegations are being leveled with a media trial against him.” The question arises: Instead of Vadra opening his mouth, why of all should Congress Party come to deny the allegations and defend him? The Congress has no locus standi in the case. It is not—and can neither be under the law—a stakeholder in the business concerns of Robert Vadra. He is surely wedded into the Gandhi family but not in the Congress. He is the son-in-law of the Gandhi family, not of the Party. Further, Congress is neither the Chartered Accountant nor the legal attorney of Vadra business conglomerate to claim to know everything. If as an organisation Congress has nothing to do with the doings of Vadra, it is the former—and not Vadra—who should observe the vow of silence. The normal Congress reaction should have been that Vadra is an individual responsible for everything and if he has done anything wrong, the law should take its own course.

By poking its nose in defence of Vadra, Congress is itself to blame for injecting the element of politics and providing tools to its opponents to say and allege what they do. The boot is in the other leg. Congress is trying to save Vadra by providing him a political shield and projecting him a ‘martyr’.

It is giving rise to the suspicion that the Congress and two Congress governments in Haryana had a role in all the scams he is allegedly involved in.

By Amba Charan Vashishth

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