Robert Vadra is de-facto Congress president: BJP
New Delhi, Sep 27: The BJP on Thursday stepped up the attack on Robert Vadra, who had on Wednesday said that the allegations made against him by over the Rafale deal by the ruling goverment were part of a political witch hunt. BJP's Sambit Patra asked why Vadra was answering questions which were posed to Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
"We're aware how Robert Vadra is working as de facto Congress president. BJP in a press conferance asked Rahul Gandhi a few questions on Rafale, and Vadra came to answer. We have one question for Vadra, 'tu idhar udhar ki baat na kar, ye bata ki UPA ke samay par Rafale ka karwaan kyun ruka?' (Just anwere one question, why was Rafale deal stopped during the UPA regime)," Patra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"Is it not true that the deal was not finalised because you (Vadra) did not receive commission and Dassualt refused to deal with you? BJP presented all the facts in a press conferance and questioned Rahul Gandhi, and Robert Vadra is answering them. Is Rahul Gandhi equal to Robert Vadra?," the BJP spokesperson added.
To counter Congress' relentless attack after former French president Francois Hollande's claim that Indian government pressed for Anil Ambani's firm to be made as an offset partner in the Rafale deal, the BJP tried to introduce a 'Robert Vadra angle' into the contentious debate. On Tuesday, BJP' mentioned Robert Vadra's alleged link with Sanjay Bhandari while speaking about the Rafale issue.
Vadra had said that whenever the NDA government finds itself cornered it rakes up his name. He further dubbed allegations against him as "baseless political witch hunt".
BJP rakes up my name every time they are cornered whether its falling rupee, soaring oil prices or this latest number when they have been totally exposed selling out nation on Rafale," Vadra told reporters on September 26.
Claiming that Gandhi wanted the fighter jet deal scrapped to help a firm linked to Vadra, the BJP had earlier alleged that the Congress chief was involved in a "conspiracy, internationally" and former French president Francois Hollande was part of the "nexus" to sabotage the procurement.
Who is Sanjay Bhandari and what is his alleged link to Robert Vadra?
Defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari became a high-profile defence consultant, liaison services provider and executor of offsets obligations for foreign armament companies after setting up his flagship company Offset India Solutions (OIS) Group in 2008 with a paid-up capital of just Rs 1 lakh.
Following the rapid escalation of the group into a multi-crore venture, it caught the eye of the investigators. Sanjay Bhandari's business dealings were red-flagged in 2014 after the NDA came to power.
One of the companies, OIS-Advanced Technology Private Ltd, has ventured into manufacturing military radars. The group includes several companies in the field of defence, aerospace and homeland security. Under the radar of both the Income Tax authorities and the Enforcement Directorate are the businesses of the company which is worth around several hundred crores.
The CBI had probed Bhandari after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had said that he was a kingpin of a scandal where he was importing cars by avoiding custom duty. What is the alleged Bhandari-Vadra link? It is alleged that a property worth Rs 19 crore purchased in London in 2009 was allegedly funded by Sanjay Bhandari.