Sonia dares govt for probe into charges against Vadra

Raibareli : A combative Congress President Sonia Gandhi today dared the Narendra Modi government to order an impartial enquiry into the allegations against her son-in-law Robert Vadra, who is being accused of having a flat in London and said it was part of a conspiracy of shooting false charges to carry forward the agenda of 'Congress-Mukt Bharat.' Coming out in strong defence of Mr Vadra, the AICC chief slammed the government for ''shooting'' such charges and said the truth would come out, if a probe was conducted in a fair way. ''I've never seen anything like this, Modi ji is a PM, not a Shehenshah.'' She faced a volley of questions about Mr Vadra during visit to her Parliamentary constituency. The newspersons asked her about a probe by the Income Tax Department sleuths into money deals by an arms dealer Sanjay Bhanadari and his links with her son-in-law ,who is alleged to have a house in the central London, as part of the quid pro quo. Yesterday, Mr Vadra's lawyer said that his client categorically and unequivocally denies that he owes, directly or indirectly, any house described by a TV channel as House No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanson Square, London. He denied any link of his client with Mr Bhandari and of having any transaction with them. The lawyer also said that Mr Vadra was not aware of any government investigations or probe, as was being suggested by the TV channel. "It is indeed surprising and reflective of malice and malafide that our client is being a target of an unjustified persecution and witch hunt by false leakages by the government,'' he alleged. Everything will be clear, if investigations are carried out in an impartial fashion. It is only a conspiracy. They everyday talk about a Congress-free India, Ms Gandhi pointed out. Last night, news reports quoted from purported papers seized by the IT Department during searches last month on the arms dealer's premises, that allegedly led to a trail of emails between Mr Vadra and his assistant on one hand and the dealer's aide on the other, regarding the purchase of a London house for approximately Rs 19 crore in 2009, which was subsequently said to have been sold. Mr Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, was today accused of having received a 'benami' flat as a gift from an arms dealer, a charge which was strongly denied by his lawyer and the Congress as the issue snowballed into a major controversy, following its telecast on a TV channel. According to NDTV, the Finance Ministry was reportedly looking into the allegations that Mr Vadra might have been gifted the flat way back in 2009. Congress today rubbished the reports. Party Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said here that Mr Vadra had, through an e-mail, informed the party that the allegations about having a 'benami' flat in London were baseless. Mr Vadra, through his lawyer, also denied the charge and accused the Government of "false leakages" to the media. The NDTV report said the Ministry inquiry was based on a report of investigative agencies. The report had cited emails allegedly sent by Mr Vadra and his executive assistant Manoj Arora, as well as statements of defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari. It alleged that Mr Vadra and Mr Arora had sent many mails to Sumit Chadda, a relative of Mr Bhandari, in connection with funding for the renovation of House, 12 Ellerton House, Bryanson Square, London, which was bought in October 2009.

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