From brass-to-gold journey of Robert Vadra: Explained

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Robert Vadra with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe in the land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. A PIL was filed seeking probe into the sale of agriculture land to Vadra's companies.Who is Robert Vadra?

Who is Robert Vadra?

  • Robert Vadra is Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law.
  • Vadra, son of a brassware magnate from Moradabad, was a low profile businessman till he got married to Priyanka Gandhi in February 18, 1997.

Vadra's meteoric rise

  • Vadra has come a long way from small-time dealer in, by various accounts, artefacts and costume jewellery, to a major real estate player in Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • He started with Artex, a handicraft business and fashion accessories, in 1997. 
  • He quietly diversified into other areas, like real estate, hospitality and charter aircraft.
  • He owns the companies like Sky Light Hospitality, Sky Light Realty, Blue Breeze Trading, Artex, Real Earth Estates and North India IT Parks
  • All of his companies were registered between November 2007 and June 2008 with a paid-up share capital between Rs.5 lakh and Rs.25 lakh.
  • According to reports, he has quietly assembled a real estate business estimated to about Rs 300 crore.

Vadra: Controversy's favourite child

  • In October 2012, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal accused Vadra of taking an interest-free loan of 65 crores and heavy bargains on land from DLF Limited in exchange for political favors. 
  • Kejriwal alleged that Vadra purchased at least 31 properties mostly in Delhi worth more than Rs.300 crore for which money has come from "unsecured interest-free loans from DLF Ltd". 
  • BJP came out with a video showing Congress Government in Haryana and Rajasthan of helping Vadra grab land across the two States in violation of rules.
  • The party released a six-page booklet, titled ‘Damaad Shri', which talked about Vadra's land deals.
  • It said the companies owned by Vadra bought at least 1,000 acres of land at throwaway prices.
  • Vadra bought land from farmers for as low as Rs 20,000 an acre. A plot of 30 hectares which was available for Rs 4.45 lakh two years ago fetches nearly Rs2 crore today. 
  • Vadra's Facebook comment "Mango people in a banana republic" had drawn huge criticism.
  • Questions have been raised over veracity of balance-sheets of his companies, which claim to have received an overdraft of 7.94 crores from Corporation Bank.
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