Robert Vadra appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its zonal office in Jaipur on Tuesday accompanied by his mother Maureen and wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Vadra was summoned for questioning in connection with a probe into an alleged land scam in Rajasthan's border town of Bikaner.
Vadra's mother was allowed to leave after some time and he was also permitted to go at around 1.30 pm for lunch, post which he returned for enquiry.
Meanwhile, near the ED office, several banners and hoardings of Vadra, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi and were put up with slogans like "kattar soch nahi yuva josh" and "jan jan ki hai yahi pukar, Rahulji-Priyankaji abki baar'. Some of the Congress members present outside the ED office also shouted "chowkidar chor hai". However, PCC vice president Archana Sharma said she had no information about these posters. "The party has not put up any such hoardings," she asserted.
This is Vadra's fourth appearance before the agency and the first in Jaipur. On last three occasions, he appeared before ED in Delhi in connection with a money laundering probe against him for his alleged role in procuring assets abroad. The Rajasthan High Court had asked Vadra and his mother to cooperate with the agency after they approached it seeking directions that no coercive action is taken against them by the agency.
In the Bikaner land case, the agency had summoned Vadra thrice but he failed to appear and later approached the court. The ED had registered a criminal case in connection with the deal in 2015, taking cognisance of a clutch of FIRs and chargesheets filed by Rajasthan police after the tehsildar of Bikaner complained about alleged forgery in the allotment of land in the area, considered sensitive due to its proximity to the India-Pakistan border.
It is understood that the agency wants to question Vadra about the operations of a firm M/s Skylight Hospitality Private Limited allegedly linked to him, which had purchased land in the area. It also wants to confront Vadra with the statements of those said to be linked to him
Meanwhile, Vadra has alleged that the Modi government was being "vindictive" and was harassing his 75-year-old mother as elections were approaching. He asked as to why the government took four years and eight months in calling him for questioning, a month before campaigning begins for the general elections. "Do they think people in India do not view it as an election gimmick?" Vadra asked in a Facebook post.
"So here we are my 75-year-old mother and me in Jaipur to depose in front of the Enforcement Directorate. Not understanding the lows of this vindictive government to be harassing a senior citizen, who the world knows has lost her daughter in a car crash, her ailing son to diabetes, and her husband as well," Vadra said. "Three deaths and all I did was to ask her to spend time with me in my office, so I can look after her and we both could grieve on our losses while spending time together," he said.
Vadra alleged that his mother was now being accused, maligned and called to be interrogated, for spending time in his office.
"As I always have adhered to rules and overall being a disciplined person, I have the ability to sustain any amount of hours of questioning and having nothing to hide, I will answer every question with respect and dignity. This too shall pass and will make me stronger. "What goes around comes around. God is with us!" Vadra said.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 12, 2019 16:04:50 IST