View Details << Back

Robert Vadra leaves ED office after 6 hours, to be questioned again
Robert Vadra's wife Priyanka dropped him outside the ED's office, in a move seen as sending a political message to Congress' opponents.

  (By a Staff Reporter) - Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, was Wednesday questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) for over six hours in its money laundering probe into alleged possession of illegal foreign assets, days after he was directed by a city court to appear before the central probe agency.
Vadra's questioning will continue tomorrow at 10:30 am.
Vadra's wife Priyanka Gandhi accompanied him in a white Toyota Land Cruiser and dropped him outside the ED's office in Jamnagar House, in a move seen as sending a political message to Congress' opponents ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Shortly after, Priyanka took charge as AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, a fortnight after her formal induction into the Congress party on January 23.
"He is my husband, he is my family...I support my family," Priyanka said in a show of support to Vadra, who returned from London earlier in the day.
Priyanka was asked by newsmen at the All India Congress Committee(AICC) headquarters whether she was sending any message by dropping her husband at the ED office for questioning. Asked if it was a political vendetta, she said everyone knows why this is being done.
On the day of Priyanka's appointment, Vadra had sent an emotional message to her. "Congratulations P... always by your side in every phase of your life. Give it your best," Vadra said in a Facebook post.
It is for the the first time that Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, is appearing before any probe agency in connection with alleged criminal charges of dubious financial dealings.
After jostling with a posse of assembled media persons, Vadra entered the ED office at around 3:47 pm, minutes after a team of his lawyers reached the premises. He then signed the attendance register before being taken in for questioning.
Vadra has denied allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. Vadra has alleged he was being "hounded and harassed" to subserve political ends.
Ahead of the questioning by a team of 3 ED officials, official sources said Vadra will be put through a dozen questions on transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London and his statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). ? Vadra was directed by a Delhi court on February 2 to cooperate with the investigation being carried out by the ED after he knocked at its door seeking anticipatory bail in the money laundering case.
The court directed him to appear before the ED on Wednesday on his return from London.
The BJP seized on the questioning of Vadra to attack the Congress and allege he got kickbacks from a petroleum and defence deals took place during the UPA regime.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged at a news conference that Vadra bought 8 to 9 properties in London from the money he got as kickbacks from a petroleum and a defence deal which took place in 2008-09 when the UPA was in power. Patra did not provide any evidence to back up his claim.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed that the charges against Vadra are "fickle, superficial, non-existent, non-substantive".
The BJP had full four and a half years to investigate but could not find anything, he claimed at a news conference.
The attempt is to mislead, confuse and to create and ambience before election, but people see through this, he said.
"The ED, Income-Tax Department, the CBI, and 10 other agencies could not do a thing against him, for so many years. It shows that this is nothing but an 'electoral jumla'". The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.
The agency had told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which allegedly belongs to Vadra.
A local Congress leader Jagdish Sharma, questioned by the ED in this case few weeks ago, was present outside the agency's office after Vadra went in. Talking to newsmen, Sharma alleged that Vadra was being "framed" in the case.
  ENTERTAINMENT


  LATEST UPDATES











  Advertisements


© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.