Vadra’s alleged links with arms dealer under scanner; Congress cries foul

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Robert Vadra

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, is being probed for alleged links with controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari after references to a London property the latter had purchased for Vadra surfaced.

Around 18 premises owned by Bhandari, owner of Offset India Solutions (OIS), were raided last month, which revealed alleged links between the two.

According to an NDTV report quoting the preliminary report of Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate, Vadra and his assistant Manoj Arora had sent many emails “discussing payments and renovation for a London home (12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square) allegedly bought for GBP 19 lakh (Rs 19 crore) in October 2009 and sold in June 2010”.

These emails were sent to Bandari’s relative in London, Sumit Chadda. However, it added that despite accessing the preliminary reports, it couldn’t verify the mails’ authenticity.

In April 2010, Chadda had sent an email about the renovation and repair work’s progress to Vadra and sought to be paid for “reimbursement of expenses”. In one of the emails, Vadra was said to have written to Chadda that “he would look into the issue”.

However, Vadra’s lawyers said he does not own, directly or indirectly, any house (No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London) described in the report. They also rejected he had any dealings with Bhandari.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy urged the Centre to give pace to its investigation in the Vadra case before he gets hold of British citizenship. The BJP leader alleged that he (Vadra) is spending a huge amount of money to fast-track British citizenship.

When queried about the alleged links between her son-in-law and an alleged arms dealer, Congress chief  Sonia Gandhi said, “This is a conspiracy. What does ‘Congress mukt Bharat’ mean? They make false allegations against us everyday. There should be an impartial probe. Truth will come out.”  She is currently visiting her constituency, Rae Bareilly.

At a media briefing, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi dimissing the media report, said “This is based on the government’s same dirty tricks department, which believes in opportunistic and selective leaks and hence, we condemn such attempts by the government.”