“Rashtriya Damaad Ke Karname”
Rashtriya political tempest seemed to hit Delhi as reports of a probe of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, owning an apartment in the upmarket Brynston Square, valued at 19 lakh pounds, surfaced. The BJP went on an attack, trying to embarrass both the Congress party and the Gandhis.
The Congress President and mother-in-law Sonia went into offence as it is the best defence mode, and while briefing her trusted foot soldiers, she demolished herself by saying, “Modi is Prime Minister of India and not Shahenshah. Let there be an inquiry doodh ka doodha nikal jayenga or paani paani rah jayega.”
There is a reason behind such bravado. Sources said that the said property was resold with a profit of two lakh pounds. This will, if the rumour is true, swell Vadra’s pile of over three billion. So Sonia knows not much can be done and lawyers of Vadra could say with straight face that he does not own, directly or indirectly the house in Brynston Square.
But if it is true that Vadra bought the property at Brynston Square either through a Trust or through a London-based venture, allegedly an arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and even if he has sold it, that fact not the lapse of time will be an excuse to escape violation of various rules and regulations laid down by both ED and IT. Vadra has fallen foul of both ED, IT and other revenue agencies. Details are sketchy, but over 200 emails between Vadra and his staff and with Sanjay Bhandari were found when IT officials raided various offices and properties of Bhandari.
Fate has its own strange ways of getting to any business and through which to anyone in its target. Vadra’s alleged deal not the extent of his friendship with Sanjay Bhandari would have been known. An item of Rs 116 crore was found on behalf of a Delhi-based company with a dealer and this connected directly to Sanjay Bhandari.
Citing a preliminary report prepared by the “Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate” following raids on 18 premises owned by Bhandari, NDTV said that emails were found which were allegedly sent by Robert Vadra and his executive assistant, Manoj Arora, to London-based Sumit Chadda, a relative of Bhandari. Authenticity of these cannot be verified. However, it is reported that Robert Vadra and his executive assistant sent emails “discussing payments and renovations for the London home (12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square) bought for 19 lakh GBP (Rs 19 crore) in October 2009 and sold in June 2010”.
In one email, Robert Vadra is said to have replied to Chadda that “he would look into the issue”. And that his “secretary” Manoj Arora will be “in touch”. Thereafter, Arora kept in touch with Chadda using an email ID “Exim Real Estate”, the channel reported.
NDTV quoted Robert Vadra’s lawyers as saying that he (Vadra) does not own, directly or indirectly, any house described by you as No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London and that Mr Vadra and his assistant “have not entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Mr Sanjay Bhandari and are not even aware that Mr Sanjay Bhandari is involved in any defence transaction.”
Accroding to Indian Express and NDTV, arms dealer Bhandari formed Offset India Solutions (OIS) in 2008 which rapidly grew into a multi-crore venture before Bhandari’s business dealings were reportedly red-flagged in 2014 (after the new government came to power). While OIS recently won a deal to supply parts for 38 combat aircraft India is buying from Dassault Aviation, Bhandari is being investigated for alleged financial violations linked to suspected shell companies between 2009 and 2014, according to NDTV.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, however, rejected the NDTV report. “Let me also make it categorical that we have received a preliminary email reply from Mr. Vadra that none of it is true. He has received no notice contrary to the report from ED or IT regarding this issue. This is based on misinformation; this is based on yet another part of the same dirty tricks department of the government which believes in opportunistic and selective leaks and therefore we condemn such attempts by the government.” he said
Whether Vadra is found guilty or not but remember the saying a man is known by the company he keeps. Indeed, it is an old saying with a lot of logic. Robert Vadra would be rather low in the list of law-abiding clean and honest gentlemen. The IT Department investigations have revealed that he is a friend of suave, debonair London-resident Sanjay Bhandari, who belongs to the shadowy world of arms dealers.
Vadra should have been careful and avoided interaction with thelikes of Bhandari. After all being married into family of prime ministers he has responsibilities as well, not only privileges.
Based on the information it unearthed, the IT department has sent inquiries and set of questions about seven property, bank queries overseas. If it is adverse report
Vadra is in for a long haul. Since his dubious land deals and his alleged unsavoury association with DLF, Vadra has not enjoyed good reputation but being Sonia’s son-in-law, he has been spared by the media and the intellectuals.
Such protection is contrary to the insistence by the Congressmen that Vadra is a private person, for whose actions, the party is not responsible. Ironically, Congress spokesperson, whenever some new scandal engulfs Vadra, says he is a private citizen. But an irate Sonia declared the house scandal a conspiracy. Sonia’sremarks expose farce that Vadra
is private citizen.
So, not so private citizen, Vadra might join politics and Indians have every reason to look at his past, present and maybe future. He might have been born with a brass spoon in his mouth in the back alleys of Moradabad, but Robert Vadra being a wise and crafty man soon got over his bad luck of having a father of modest means. It was not in his hands to choose a family to be born in, but he had in his hand to endeavour and marry in a wealthy family. He was the one who knew what he wanted and how to achieve it.
As a bonus, he came to have a wife who was one of the prettiest women in India and privileged too, with so much going for him, turning a few lakhs into crores then billions was not all that difficult. It needed just a dodgy and shrewd mind and a few obliging Congress chief ministers and bureaucrats.
Anyway, Robert Vadra, being a businessman, remained a private citizen, so that the power corridor Robert controlled through his mother-in-law was never in touch with him and his business deeds. Smart guy, why to be in touch, when you could use remote control? Money loves money to become more money. So, this wisest Indian, who calls Indians like us as mango men ruled by his mother-in-law in the Banana Republic, to which his mother-in-law tried to reduce India, had chosen the world’s biggest realtor to be his business partner. And so, few deals with DLF were inked.
Being a “rashtriya damad” Vadra enjoyed all the privileges provided by Congress President and earlier Prime Ministers. He enjoyed all these perks and privileges, made more pleasurable because he had no one to give any account to.
Now according to latest revelations, Vadra had also reportedly “expanded” his real estate business to London. It is now rumoured that he sold the house and made two lakh pounds. Clever of him. But the ungodly have trumped up various violations by him and Vadra could, with nemesis catching up, be in for a long inquisition by various agencies.
And as every other politician in India says the law will take its own course, and everyone knows that it would take its own sweet long time to conclude, either way. In fact, the snail pace of trial system in Indian judiciary is the most confident giving aspect that our politicians rely upon. And the Nehru-Gandhi family that guided the depravity of independent India ensured that it is ‘not for the culprit to prove innocence, but the other way’. Arguing this illogical logic, Bofors case was confined to files, but even snails cover some distance and the first shock came to the first family of Congress when they were called to be present in the court in the National Herald case. Since then Sonia is furious and given up her Sphinx like silence.
So when the Augusta Westland scam case was concluded with indicting remarks against the Sonia Gandhi, she roared. And declared to the world that she could not be mellowed down by few remarks by one judge in Italy. Anyway, in a condescending way, she allowed the government to probe the scam further, only after disrupting one parliament session over how UPA government cancelled the order on Westland.
One thing neither she nor her ‘cleanest’ defence minister could deny that ‘money was paid to someone’. And who could be that ‘someone’? For two years the scam could not be exposed! Sonia roared let them inquire. And it seems the union government took her advice of probing the scam a bit too seriously. They started pursuing leads that ruffled feathers here and there. Somewhere in the dark some bush shakes only to expose further lead. And sometimes they change the direction of investigation.
Such a track change happened, as was evident in the exposures in recent time that the same arms dealer who was being investigated related to the choppers’ scam also was working as the real estate agent to the ‘rashtriya damad’. Apparently, few e-mails to and from the wisest Indian had come into the possession of the inquiring agencies.
One thing for sure; after all these scams, the response time of the Congress to any exposure reduced to hours and precise. Lawyers of Robert Vadra denied all allegations of Robert Vadra being the owner of the house in London. The middle man didn’t deny the ownership of Robert Vadra, but wanted to verify documents before confirming, but in the mails he very well demands maintenance charges from Robert Vadra. But he is not friendless.
The ‘saas’ came out of hibernation – once again — and roared ‘Kabhi aisa nahi dekha…ek pradhan mantri hain..shahenshah nahi’.
“Roz…roz ye Congress-mukt Bharat ke liye naya mudda uthate hain. Roz galat ilzaam lagate hain. Agar kuchh galat hai to bina bhed bhaav jaanch karo. Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani karo,” she dared the government.
She said Modi was just PM and not Shahenshah, For once she was right. If she is the Queen how could Modi have the vacant gaddi.
One thing is amazing. The party is virtually in shambles, with a pack of jokers, despite that there is no other woman in India more powerful than her. Yes, she is the one who could sacrifice anything that was not hers in the first place. But it appears the current investigation pulled one raw nerve, and hurt one critical gland in the powerful machinery, that Congress is! And so, the ferocious creature coming out of her den to protect the kith and kin.
Yet, truth is stranger than fiction and sometimes it surfaces at most embarrassing moments. “By the time Sphinx finished her roar and settled to have some grape wine, there was another news bulletin that claimed that the inquiry had reached Virgin Islands, and another property in Dubai, worth Rs. 24 crore.” It was also added to the list of alleged ‘benami’ properties of rashtriya damad, Robert Vadra.
Its time the Queen advised her SIN-in-Law that even the wisest cannot fool everyone, forever. Possibly this is why Vadra has applied for a UK passport on fast track. Well if he flees, let him. The villas with venetian blinds over large glass windows have been waiting for them in the islands of Mediterranean, where trees are bent with the burden of bunches of olives. There this bunch bent with burden of wrong-doings can live. It will be good riddance.
by Vijay Dutt