Vadra should explain his link with arms dealer: BJP


Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Monday targeted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after a media report claimed that absconding arms agent Sanjay Bhandari had "booked tickets" for his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.

The Congress said BJP's allegations against Robert Vadra were a politically motivated effort to divert public attention from Jay Shah's case. He said Vadra had a year ago said the emails about Bhandari paying for his tickets were manufactured.

Vadra had denied links with Bhandari when in 2016 it was reported that his London flat at 12 Ellerton House in Bryaton Square was renovated by Bhandari.

Reason: when tax sleuths approached the Paharganj-based travel agency through which the air passage had been booked, they were informed that the payments were received in cash and they had no recollection whether the money was handed over to them by someone from either Sanjay Bhandari's side or Robert Vadra's side. The media channel claimed that Bhandari had reserved air tickets for Vadra however, Times Now did not know if Vadra had travelled on these tickets or not. Tickets were booked from Nice in France to Zurich, Switzerland.

"The agencies are probing Bhandari, his properties have been confiscated".

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Congress leader and businessman Robert Vadra. Vadra has taken favours from Sanjay Bhandari.

The minister also hinted that Vadra may be questioned for his links to Bhandari who is being probed by the CBI. Particularly, when asked about the bookings, Bhandari reportedly told, "I do not recall". He also tagged a copy of a story of the news portal that shows an interim injunction order to not to publish, print the story regarding the son of BJP president Amit Shah.

Congress on Wednesday alleged that a few corporate houses sponsored 70 odd trips that Prime minister Narendra Modi undertook as chief minister of Gujarat in chartered planes. "What is this magic wand by which the company earned a surplus of merely Rs. 18.8 lakh in 10 years from 2004-14 and made a loss in two successive years (2012-2014), and then proceeded to increase its turnover 16,000 times within a year of formation of the BJP government?" he asked. The application filed by Jay requested "criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libellouss and consisting of several defamatory statements".

The Congress on Tuesday strongly defended its president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, while demanding an enquiry by two sitting Supreme Court judges into the business dealings of BJP national president Amit Shah's son Jay Shah.

"They are trying to throttle media freedom".