BJP questions Congress silence on reports of arms dealer buying Robert Vadra’s air tickets
BJP on Monday targeted the and asked it to come clean after reports emerged that absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari had “booked tickets” for party president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.
“Why is the senior leadership of the Congress silent on the Vadra matter? They need to answer on the relationship between arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and Robert Vadra,” senior BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press conference.
The Union minister demanded to know if the Congress was complicit in the matter and was now attempting to sweep it under the rug by keeping mum.
“Is Congress leadership, by being silent, implying they knew of it?” Sitharaman queried.
Times Now had reported on Monday that in August 2012, a Delhi-based travel agent had booked two airline tickets in the name of Robert Vadra, paid for by controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
Significantly, Bhandari footed the bill for Vadra’s travel just when he was being probed for his role in swinging a jet trainer deal for Swiss company Pilatus. One of the tickets booked for Vadra was for Zurich, which is Switzerland’s financial capital.
Hours after the news broke, Union minister Smriti Irani had taken a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, asking for his “poetic explanation” on the allegations against his brother-in-law.
“Eagerly awaiting Rahul Ji’s poetic explanation for #VadraTicketGate,” Irani said in a tweet.
Eagerly awaiting Rahul Ji’s poetic explanation for #VadraTicketGate
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) 1508171447000
Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. Vadra also came under the scanner when officials found a separate tranche of emails which revealed alleged links between the two .
Vadra’s legal firm has consistently denied he has any business ties with the arms consultant or his aides. Bhandari fled India last year, and is believed to be living in the UK at present. The government is making attempts to get the fugitive arms dealer extradited.
In Video: BJP questions Congress silence on Vadra’s air tickets