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I am strong, capable: Vadra amid reports of links to wanted arms dealer

The BJP on Tuesday asked the Congress to explain the alleged links between party President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

BS Web Team | Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Robert Vadra
File photo Robert Vadra serves food at the Valmiki Mandir in New Delhi

Amid fresh allegations levelled against him regarding his business dealings by a television news channel, Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, who is yet to issue an official statement, posted a message on Facebook saying he believes in himself. 

In a shot of himself framed against an image of horses running by the sea, Vadra posted a message: "Good Morning. I am capable, I am strong. If I believe in myself, I can turn my dreams into a plan, and my plan into my reality."  ( pls embed post) 

Days after the Congress party demanded a probe into the business dealings of (BJP) chief Amit Shah's son, the BJP hit back asking the Congress to explain the dealings between fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and Vadra.

The question mark on the business dealings of Amit Shah's son Jay and Vadra's alleged association with Bhandari have been reported by the media in recent days.

As reported earlier, while addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there were three instances that suggest Vadra and Bhandari had business dealings. The Defence Minister said there is evidence of emails exchanged between the two and that Bhandari refurbished Vadra's flat in London.

Further, she said that in 2012, Bhandari purchased business class tickets for Vadra's international travel from Nice in France to Switzerland's financial capital Zurich. Sitharaman said Bhandari purchased the ticket on Vadra’s behalf from a Paharganj based travel agency. Sitharaman also spoke about the transfer of money to Bhandari, which she alleged was at the behest of Vadra.

"Why is the senior leadership of the Congress silent on the Vadra matter," the defence minister asked. "Is the Congress leadership, by being silent, implying they knew of it?," Sitharaman added.

She said while it was for the probe agencies like the CBI to establish the links between the two, she was only asking the Congress to break its silence over the issue. "I am not establishing the link. We will have to ask the Home Ministry and the CBI about that."

Until now, Vadra has maintained that he has had no business dealing with Bhandari.

Bhandari, who ran a defence consultancy firm called Offset India Solutions, faces an investigation into a defence deal in which he is alleged to have received kickbacks after swinging the jet trainer deal for Swiss company Pilatus.

In the latest media report exposing the Bhandari-Vadra links, the TimesNow TV news channel claimed to have accessed emails to establish that the two were in close touch with each other. The channel claimed that the emails show that Bhandari bought Vadra air tickets worth Rs 8 lakh for an Emirates flight in August 2012.

First Published: Tue, October 17 2017. 16:49 IST