The BJP on Tuesday asked Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul to break their “silence” over media reports which claimed that Robert Vadra had “links” with fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was fielded by her party to attack the Congress leadership, said the silence of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul will be construed as acceptance of charges against Vadra.
Citing the media report, Sitharaman alleged that a London house linked to Vadra was refurbished by Bhandari, who also made arrangements for his travel abroad. She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss franc was deposited in a bank account of Bhandari and asked if there was a connection between this and the money spent on refurbishing the London house linked to Vadra.
The minister, citing the media report, alleged that there were at least three transactions between them with “serious financial implications”. Addressing a press conference, Sitharaman asked, “Why senior leadership of the Congress, including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, is keeping a studied silence.”
Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s frequent tweets, the minister wondered why he was keeping silent on this matter. She also claimed that the Congress leader was “copying” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked what the CBI was doing as it was investigating Bhandari, she said this question should be put to the agency. The government is taking all steps to bring the absconding arms dealer back to India to face law, she added.
Party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said, “If you believe that Vadra is innocent and then why not file a defamation suit?… the silence shows guilt.” Neither Vadra nor the Congress has reacted to the matter.
Meanwhile, a day after it was revealed that absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari had booked business-class tickets for Robert Vadra in 2012, the Gandhi son-in-law put up a cryptic response on his social media.
Vadra posted a picture of himself and a horse running in the background, with the text: “I am capable, I am strong, If I believe in myself, I can turn my dreams into a plan and my plan into reality.”
The fact that one of the tickets booked for Vadra was to Zurich, the financial capital of Switzerland, hints at his involvement in the Pilatus deal. However, there is no clarity on the issue as of now, and Times Now is awaiting a reply from his side.
Demanding a probe into financial activities of a company owned by BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, too has been investigated for corruption.
The comparison with Mr. Vadra appeared to be an indirect allegation that the phenomenal rise in Jay’s company’s fortunes might not be investigated as his father is a powerful politician. Mr. Chavan demanded that Mr. Shah resign by taking a cue from three past BJP presidents, who quit following allegations of corruption.