Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday questioned the Congress on its silence over allegations of international arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari buying air tickets for Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi..
"Is Congress leadership, by being silent, implying they knew of it?" ANI quoted Sitharaman as saying referring to an expose by a TV news channel which claimed that "absconding arms dealer Bhandari (had) booked business-class tickets for Vadra in 2012".
The channel claimed that the emails show that Bhandari bought Vadra air tickets worth Rs 8 lakh for an Emirates flight in August 2012.
Sitharaman also urged the Congress to come clear over the relationship between Vadra and Bhandari.
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."
Though Vadra and his lawyers have denied having any links with the absconding arms dealer, the channel exposed a link between the two two during an expose.
Vadra's reaction to the report was not available.
Union minister Smriti Irani also targetted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his silence on this issue. She tweeted:
Eagerly awaiting Rahul Ji’s poetic explanation for #VadraTicketGate
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) October 16, 2017
Earlier Bhandari and Vadra were linked to a benami land deal in London.
It is to be noted that in June 2016, the Enforcement Directorate had served Bhandari notice seeking details of bank accounts his properties. It was reported in December 2016 that Bhandari, who played a middleman in the defence sector, may have fled India.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2017 14:46:11 IST