Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday lashed out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his alleged links to Sanjay Bhandari, an arms dealer and aide of Rahul’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra.
“The facts that have come out in the news indicate how Gandhi-Vadra family has described ‘parivarik brashtachar’ (dynastic corruption),” Irani said while referring to a media report highlighting alleged links of Rahul with Bhandari, who is under the radar of probe agencies.
“Sanjay Bhandari, an arms dealer with close links to Robert Vadra is also under investigation for defence deals and his desperate desire to be party to the ill-gotten fruits of corruption during UPA regime,” she added.
Sharpening her attack against her Rahul, Smriti said reports have suggested that HL Pahwa was “suitably financed and supported” by CC Thampi, a name that figures in the probe with regard to a petroleum deal under UPA and a financial violation with regard to a land transaction in Delhi-NCR amounting to Rs280 crore.
“The relationship between CC Thampi and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari is publicly known. Hence, the nation has come to a conclusion that Rahul Gandhi’s intervention in the defence preparedness of our country stems from his pursuit not only of individual politics but his personal commercial interests, his personal family interests,” said Irani.
A media report published recently stated that according to the files seized by the Enforcement Directorate from HL Pahwa, Rahul Gandhi had purchased 6.5 acres of land located at Hassanpur at a subsidised rate from Pahwa.
Bhandari was booked by the ED in 2016 based on an Income Tax Department and Delhi police complaint of his alleged indulgence in dubious defence deals and land deals.
In December 2017, the ED had seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of Bhandari and others for holding undisclosed assets abroad. The assets included undisclosed deposits in foreign bank accounts in the UAE in the various foreign currency denominations, beneficial ownership of companies incorporated in the UAE, one flat in Palms Jumeirah, Dubai and two flats in the UK.