the news yesterday that the Finance Ministry is determining whether Sanjay Bhandari, who is being investigated for financial crimes, bought the property in 2009 and provided proxy ownership for Mr Vadra, who is being investigated for controversial land deals in Haryana when the Congress governed the state. Mr Vadra’s lawyers have said the report is completely without basis.
“They make these false allegations every day,” Mrs Gandhi said. “Let them hold an inquiry… the truth will then emerge”, she said, adding this is part of the government’s agenda to deliver a “Congress-mukt Bharat”, a phrase coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the opposition party.
The report highlighted that the government’s inquiry is based on emails and other data recovered when Mr Bhandari’s offices and homes were raided. the cannot verify the authenticity of the emails, but the government report cites exchanges between Mr Vadra and his executive assistant, Manoj Arora, discussing payments and renovation for the London home.
The report says their emails were sent to Sumit Chadda, a relative of Mr Bhandari based in London. The house, bought in 2009 for Rs. 19 crore, was sold a year later.
The Congress has defended Mr Vadra, alleging that he is being persecuted by the government which fabricates allegations against him, and then refuses to conclude inquiries as it benefits “from the noise”.
The party has also said that the ruling BJP must explain the regular contact and close links between some of its own leaders and Mr Bhandari, who refused to comment on the report