Economy

BJP raises the heat on Vadra

BJP raises the heat on Vadra”

Fresh revelations alleging that arms agent Sanjay Bhandari, who has been on the Income Tax Department's radar since he was raided in April 2016, may have purchased worldwide business-class air tickets for Robert Vadra and may have created political ripples but officials in the Department say that aspect of the probe has virtually reached a dead end. "While Congress leaders are in the habit of raising small issues, why are they silent on such an important issue?"

"Why is the senior leadership of the Congress silent on the Vadra matter", Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked, referring to media reports about the reported financial links between Vadra and the arms dealer, who fled to the UK.

Congress on Tuesday said it was not obligated to answer any question on Robert Vadra as he did not belong to the party. The government is making attempts to get the fugitive arms dealer extradited. Why did an arms dealer buy tickets for Vadra?

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.

Citing the media report, Sitharaman alleged that a London house linked to Vadra was refurbished by Bhandari, who also made arrangements for his travel overseas.

She said 7.5 lakh Swiss francs were deposited in a bank account of Mr. Bhandari, and asked if there was a connection between this and the money spent on refurbishing the London house.

Asked what the CBI was doing as it was investigating Bhandari, she said this question should be put to the agency.

Surjewala, while addressing a press conference in Bengaluru, said Vadra has been going through "witch-hunting" for the last 41 months.

Dikshit said Vadra, and not Congress should come forward to explain the alleged link with the arms dealer.

An attachment to one of the mails shows that while the cost of refurbishing was earlier estimated by Sumit Chadda, a relative of Bhandari, to be 28,000 pounds, additional items were added to the worklist and the estimate went up to 35,000 pounds.



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