Robert Vadra

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Robert Vadra
Robert Vadra 2019 (face cropped).jpg
Vadra in 2019
Born
Robert Rajendra Vadra

(1969-04-18) 18 April 1969 (age 53)
NationalityIndian
OccupationBusinessman
Spouse(s)
(m. 1997)
Children2
RelativesSee Nehru–Gandhi family

Robert Vadra (born 18 April 1969) is an Indian businessman, entrepreneur and the husband of Priyanka Gandhi.[1][2] He is the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi and the brother-in-law of Rahul Gandhi.

Early life and family[edit]

Robert Vadra was born to Rajendra and Maureen Vadra on 18 April 1969. His father's family is of Punjabi descent settled in Moradabad district, Uttar Pradesh.[3] His paternal family is originally from Sialkot in present-day Pakistan. Rajendra's father moved to India at the time of partition.[4] His mother Maureen (née McDonagh) is of Scottish origin. Rajendra was a resident of Civil Lines, Moradabad and ran a brass and wood handicrafts business.[citation needed] Vadra has only completed his high school education.[5]

Robert Vadra's brother Richard died by suicide and his sister Michelle died in a car accident in 2001.[6][7] His father was found dead on April 3, 2009 in City Inn, a guest house in the Yusuf Sarai area of Delhi.

Politics[edit]

In January 2002, Vadra issued a notice in print newspaper distancing himself from his father and brother as they were misusing his relationship with the Nehru–Gandhi family to make money while promising jobs and other favours.[8] Following this, Sonia Gandhi, the then Congress president also issued a notice to all Congress CMs, state unit heads and senior party members to stay away from Vadra and his family.[9]

Until 2012, while Vadra was mostly in the background, he became a target for several opposition parties after the 2012 anti-corruption movement, India against corruption made allegations against him.[10] These allegations got further politicization after several instances of Congress party spokespersons defending allegations on Vadra, stating he was a soft target.[11]

While Vadra is not into active politics he had been actively campaigning for his brother-in-law Rahul Gandhi and mother-in-law Sonia Gandhi. In the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, he campaigned actively across India for several candidates.[12] Recently on his 50th birthday, when asked about his intent to join active politics, Vadra stated it would happen 2–3 years later.[13]

Controversies[edit]

DLF land grab case[edit]

In October 2011, he was accused by Arvind Kejriwal of taking an interest-free loan of 650 million and heavy bargains on land from DLF Limited in exchange for political favours. 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 discounted price, and that no quid pro quo took place.[14][clarification needed]Corporation Bank has denied ever providing an overdraft facility of that amount.[15][16] Meanwhile after being asked to vacate the government accommodation at Lodhi estate, Priyanka Vadra shifted to a 5500 sqft 5 bedroom home at a DLF property in Gurugram.[17]

Bikaner land case[edit]

In February 2019, Rajasthan High Court has issued summons to Vadra and his mother Maureen in relation to a 2015 case of illegal land transactions in Kolayat area of Bikaner. The enforcement directorate had filed a case against Vadra's company Skylight hospitality pvt ltd alleging purchase of 69.55 bigha (approx. 28 acres) land in connivance with Rajasthan government officials at sub market rates (7.2 million) and then selling them at exorbitantly higher prices to gain illegal profits.[18] The company had been issued a notice under Prevention of money laundering act in 2016. Subsequently, the company approached Delhi HC and Supreme court in April 2018 for reassessment of their transactions, however the court directed Vadra to appear before the ED and cooperate in investigations. In recent development, the ED has attached the assets of Vadra's company Skylight valued at 46.2 million after Vadra appeared before ED ignoring several previous summons.[19] In January 2020, during his interrogation with the ED, Vadra stated that he had viewed the land locations on Google maps, but could not recollect the source for the funds he used to purchase those.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malik, Aman (8 October 2012). "DLF-Robert Vadra controversy: A news round-up". Mint. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Robert Vadra not new to controversy". Rediff. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  3. ^ Bureau, ABP News (15 May 2019). "Priyanka cites husband's root at maiden rally in Punjab; Vadra endorses statement". news.abplive.com. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  4. ^ Priyanka's father-in-law hanged himself: Police sources. Times of India.
  5. ^ Anand, Geeta; Roy, Rajesh (18 April 2014). "Behind a Real-Estate Empire, Ties to India's Gandhi Dynasty". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  6. ^ Sawhney, Anubha (20 September 2003). "Another tragedy in Vadra family". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  7. ^ "10 facts to know about Robert Vadra, the stylish son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi". IndiaTV.
  8. ^ "Love's Favours Lost | Outlook India Magazine". Outlook (India). Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Sonia Closes Door on Vadras". www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  10. ^ Fuwad, Ahamad (1 June 2016). "Robert Vadra: A dark spot in Gandhi family or a soft political target? 5 controversies surrounding the 'Damad'". www.indiatvnews.com. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  11. ^ Thomas, Soumya (3 September 2018). "Gurugram land deal case: Congress defends Robert Vadra, alleges 'malicious witch-hunt' by PM Modi". www.indiatvnews.com. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Robert Vadra to campaign for Congress 'all over India'; to accompany Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi to Amethi, Rae Bareli". Firstpost. 7 April 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Robert Vadra celebrates his 50th with family". in.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Full statement: DLF denies Kejriwal's allegations". NDTV.com. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Corporation Bank denies giving overdraft to Robert Vadra". The Times of India. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Sonia son-in-law Robert Vadra amassed Rs. 300 cr in 3 yrs, DLF funded him: Kejriwal". Hindustan Times. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to move to DLF The Aralias in Gurgaon". Mumbai Mirror. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  18. ^ Ohri, Raghav (15 February 2019). "Bikaner Land scandal: ED attaches assets worth Rs 4.62 crores of Robert Vadra's company and others". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  19. ^ "ED attaches Rs 4.62 crore of assets of Robert Vadra's company". The Times of India. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  20. ^ Ohri, Raghav (14 January 2020). "Robert Vadra said can't recollect fund source, saw land on Google: ED". The Economic Times. Retrieved 12 March 2020.