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18 May 1969
Robert Vadra is an Indian businessman and the husband of Priyanka Vadra, and a controversial figure in India. He is the son-in-law of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and a member of the Nehru family by marriage. In the recent times, he is being highlighted in media because for his relations and land dealings with DLF group. CAG in its report has said he allegedly got kickbacks from Augusta Deal too. It forces media as well as opposition leaders to crack and derail parliament.
Robert Vadra was born to Rajendra and Maureen Vadra on 18 May 1969. Rajendra Vadra hails from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, and Maureen (née McDonagh) was of Scottish origin. Rajendra was a resident of Civil Lines area of Moradabad and ran a brass and wood handicrafts business. The family is originally from Sialkot, Pakistan, and Rajendra's father moved to India at the time of partition. Robert Vadra, who studied at the British school, had two siblings, Richard and Michelle.
Vadra was estranged from his father, who had "expressed displeasure" with his marriage to Priyanka. Robert Vadra issued a public notice in 2001 stating that his father Rajendra and brother Richard, were "duping" people by promising jobs at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee and other favours. Rajendra later threatened to file a defamation suit against his son.
Rajendra Vadra, father of Robert Vadra was found dead at a guest house in Yusuf Sarai area of New Delhi in 2009, under myseterious circumstances. His elder brother Richard committed suicide in 2003 and Michelle, his sister, died in a car accident in 2001. There is still controversy surrounding the death of the family members of Robert Vadra.
In an exclusive interview to The Times of India in 2010, Vadra, said he would join politics only when he felt he could make a difference. "There is a time and place for everything. If I feel that I know enough about this line (politics), if I can dedicate enough time and effort to it, when my children are grown up and if I can make a difference, then why not?" Vadra added, "I don't even indulge in the thought at the moment. I enjoy my children, my business, my fitness regime and other pursuits." In the same interview, he also said that he could win an election from anywhere, but chooses not to. Vadra also revealed that he was under great pressure to contest from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but refused. "There was huge demand for me to stand (from Sultanpur) but I was clear that it was not my place. I was being recognized only because of the family." Robert Vadra was also voted Delhi's “Style Icon” of 2011.
- ents from DLF Limited for purchase of land, India's largest real estate conglomerate.
- Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd (owned by Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra), is a partner in a firm that owns Hilton Garden Inn in the South Delhi business district Saket. DLF Hotel Holdings is another partner in this firm.
- North India IT Parks Pvt Ltd
- Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd
- Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd.
Vadra-owned firms Skylight Realty, Real Earth Estates, Blue Breeze Trading, Artex and North India IT Parks seemed to be following a similar modus operandi. Agricultural land was being bought, land use converted and resold to real estate firms.He listed seven villages where "several hundred crores worth of panchayat lands have been transferred to realtor companies that were created only days earlier". The villages of Baad-Gujar, Rozka-Gujar, Kot, Chirsi, Ankhir, Shikhopur, Malikpur, Bangar and Kalesar lie along the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road near Delhi. The officer predicts that unless these shady land deals are independently probed, they will soon turn into new farmhouses for Delhi's elite.
Ashok Khemka has said in his interview given to India Today channel that the model of business of Robert Vadra is like Hafta Collection. Vadra has been nicknamed by netizens as DAMAD G in line with corruption controversies which started by 2 G spectrum case and also similar to Madam G as Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is called by people.
VVIP Status Controversy
Vadra has been exempted from frisking at airports when travelling with other SPG protectees. The list of such VIPs was compiled and forwarded to the authorities concerned by the Government of India on 26 September 2005. Others on the list include the President, the Prime Minister, former Presidents and PMs and SPG protectees. This move has come under scrutiny since more important entities on the warrant of precedence. BCAS Commissioner S. R. Mehra declined comment.
According to an RTI reply given to a group called RTI Anonymous in March this year, P. Chidambaram’s Office gave Vadra this exemption because he is a Special Case. The reply had this to say: Shri Robert Vadra has been granted exemption from pre-embarkation security checks at all civil airports in the country on the recommendation of this ministry as a special case as he is married to a SPG protectee, i.e. Smt Priyanka Vadra, in consultation with central security agencies.  His "SPG protectee" wife, however, does not enjoy this VIP status. This happened despite his bodyguard being caught with a pistol inside the Parliament.
In October 2012, Arvind Kejriwal accused Vadra of taking an interest-free loan of 65 crores and heavy bargains on land from DLF Limited in exchange for political favors. DLF responded that it had dealt with Vadra as a private entrepreneur, that the loan was Business Advance which was given, as per practice of trade, to make payments for land purchased from Vadra, that the company did not sell him land at a throwaway price, and that no quid pro quo took place.
On Monday, 8 October 2012, his Facebook account was shut, days after a controversy broke out over his business deals with realty major DLF. Civil society activist Arvind Kejriwal had raised questions over the rise in his fortune. In his account on Twitter, Kejriwal tweeted, “Evidence pouring in from mango men from across the country. Mango men would prove to be nemesis for the powerful.”
Numerous reports have questioned veracity of balance-sheets of Vadra-owned companies, which claim to have received an overdraft of 7.94 crores from Corporation Bank. Corporation Bank has now denied ever providing an overdraft facility to that amount.
In response to the alleged DLF-Vadra controversy, the entire Congress came out to defend Vadra. After a few days when another controversy about the alleged financial irregularaties in an NGO run by congressman and then-law minister Salman Khurshid broke out, Rajdeep Sardesai had tweeted:
"Irony: when law min in dock, no UPA minister there to defend him. When Vadra in dock, cabinet ministers line up to defend."
Vadra Captured Dalits land in Palwal
Vadra allegedly purchased more than 75 acres of land in the village Hasanpur of District Palwal in Haryana initially allotted to Scheduled caste persons in 1981 by the Haryana Government.
Cancellation of land holdings
Following the abnormalities in the land row, senior IAS officer and the then Director General, Consolidation of Holdings – Haryana Ashok Khemka ordered to cancel about 3.531 acres of land holdings in Shikhopur village, Manesar, Gurgaon, by various companies associated with Vadra and its subsequent sale to DLF. Khemka was probing the mutation before leaving his charge of the office. He has been transferred as the DG – Haryana Seed Development Corporation. This malafide transfer is coined as the prize of the probe. 08.08.2013,There is trouble brewing for Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who flagged alleged irregularities in Vadra land deals, has submitted a 100-page report to the government. The report reveals that Vadra falsified documents and executed a series of sham transactions for 3.53 acres land in Shikohpur village of Gurgaon.February 2008. Skylight paid Rs. 7.5 crore for this plot, around 40 km from Delhi. The mutation of ownership was effected within 24 hours on February 13, though it normally takes up to six months. Vadra's company was granted change of land use (CLU) licence to use 2.7 acres of the agricultural plot for residential housing in just over a month on March 28, 2008.
Vadra resold the property to DLF Universal less than four months later, for Rs.58 crore. The only value Vadra's companies added to the land, Khemka says, was the CLU licence, which led to a six-fold increase in the value of the land. A letter of intent (LoI) for the CLU was issued to Skylight within 18 days of application and a month after the plot was purchased. The LoI order was approved by Chief Minister B.S. Hooda and communicated to Skylight with signatures of Chhatar Singh, one of Hooda's principal secretaries. Khemka in his explosive revelations claims that Vadra, pocketed a hefty premium on a commercial colony licence.Khemka had been shunted out after he cancelled a land deal mutation between Robert Vadra and real estate giant DLF.Khemka alleges that Haryana's Department of Town and Country Planning aided in making these 'sham transactions'.
Khemka's explosive report was submitted to a three-member committee set up by the Haryana government last October to look into the Vadra-DLF deal. The Haryana government has already given its clean chit to Vadra.The Prime Minister's Office in November, 2012 had told Allahabad High Court that charges of irregularities in land deals against Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law were false, vexatious and based on hearsay.
Term coined by senior leader of BJP, Yashwanth Sinha used to denote "crores of rupees being made without investing any money".
- "Another tragedy in Vadra family", The Times of India, 20 September 2003.
- "Priyanka’s father-in-law found dead in guesthouse", Indian Express, 4 April 2009.
- "Priyanka's father-in-law hanged himself: Police sources", The Times of India, 3 April 2009.
- "Who is Robert Vadra?", India Today, 10 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "Don't know if I'll join politics, but I can win from anywhere", The Times of India, 20 October 2010.
- "Robert Vadra Delhi's most stylish man", India Today, 30 December 2011. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- National Real Estate Development Council. Naredco.in. Retrieved on 13 October 2011.
- "Robert Vadra ties up with DLF, makes low-key entry into Real estate business" by Rohini Singh & Sruthijith KK, Economic Times, 14 March 2011, 02.30am IST
- "Khemka says Vadra is not a businessman, the case is more of hafta collection". 17 August 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- Ruchi Srivastava, "Robert, these are the plane truths...". The Times of India (22 January 2006). Retrieved on 13 October 2011.
- "No security checks: After Dalai Lama, Robert Vadra only one named in VIP list", The Indian Express, 13 November 2005.
- Pranab Biswas (12 March 2012). Ministry of Home Affairs document. JPG image. scribdassets.com
- "Priyanka guard’s gun steals Rahul thunder – Family turns up for young MP’s big day in Parliament, but security breach has first say", The Telegraph of India, 10 March 2006.
- "Full statement: DLF denies Kejriwal's allegations", NDTV, 6 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- Veeresh Malik (8 October 2012) , "Mango People in Banana Republic", The Times of India. Blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "IAC asks Vadra to apologise for 'banana republic' FB post", Moneycontrol, 8 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "Vadra's Facebook Account Deleted". The Hindu. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Corporation Bank denies giving overdraft to Robert Vadra", The Times of India, 13 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- Modi slams Congress for defending Vadra – India – DNA. Dnaindia.com (14 October 2012). Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "Congress defends Vadra, BJP demands judicial probe", Yahoo News, 5 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- Twitter / sardesairajdeep: Irony: when law min in dock. Twitter.com. Retrieved on 2013-02-15.
- Ramesh Sharma, "After Gurgaon, Mewat Robert Vadra Captures Dalits Land in Palwal", Intelligent Haryana News, 15 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "Haryana IAS officer cancels Robert Vadra land mutation, transferred by state govt", The Indian Express, 14 February 2013. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "Robert Vadra: IAS officer probing deal transferred, cancels land mutation", IBN Live, 16 October 2012. Retrieved on 15 February 2013.
- "BJP on Vadra land deals: New business model, make crores without investment", The Times of India, 13 August 2013.
- Sonpath, Rediff India
- The Rediff Interview with Rajinder Vadra, Rediff United States
- "Don't know if I'll join politics, but I can win from anywhere", The Times of India, 20 October 2010.
- Arvind Kejrival in Devil's Advocate with Karan
- Robert Vadra deletes Facebook Account, The Hindu, 8 October 2012.