Vadra lands in trouble
The Allegations made by Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan about Robert Vadra’s links with DLF and his unaccounted wealth must be probed. The charges raised by the activists of India Against Corruption, who last Friday released documents to substantiate these, are serious indeed. They deserve an answer and ought not to be brushed aside lightly. They have alleged Vadra’s involvement in multi-crore corrupt land deals with DLF, a realty firm. They have charged Vadra with having got loans from DLF as well as property at cheap rates some of which he has sold to amass a huge fortune. If Vadra has done this then it is highly improper and is corruption on a large-scale. Indeed, Vadra’s rise to fortune is a mystery in itself. As Bhushan has alleged, in the last four years, Vadra has gone on a property buying binge, having purchased at least 31 properties mostly in and around New Delhi, which even at the time of their purchase were worth several hundred crores. It is a good question as to where the funds to buy these properties came from. Kejriwal has said that between 2007 and 2010 Vadra’s wealth grew from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 300 crore in three years. How did this happen? Reports indicate that Vadra only incorporated his first business in 1997, which dealt with brass handicrafts and fashion accessories. From this humble venture he has rapidly expanded, having founded five other ventures in the real estate, hospitality and trading sectors after 2007. Interestingly enough, most of his business transactions appear to have taken place in Congress ruled states. This can hardly be a coincidence. Vadra is no ordinary businessman, or a private citizen as he claims. He is the son-in-law of the powerful UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, who controls the levers of the central government as well in the state of Haryana where the DLF has a large presence. Interestingly enough, DLF also has had a role to play in the Commonwealth Games, which venture, as is public knowledge, was riddled with corruption. Indeed, the Congress-led UPA government at the centre has no saintly disposition, involved as it is in numerous corruption scandals. Family members of those in power must not be allowed to misuse their proximity to the government to amass huge and illegal fortunes. Vadra has not answered these charges but has tried to side-step them, attempting to bluster his way out of trouble. It is easy enough to imagine shady dealings and a hidden quid pro quo, with Vadra’s involvement. Therefore, while there must be an independent probe into the charges, in the interests of public probity, Vadra has to answer the questions and come clean about his various business dealings.