Robert Vadra gets drawn into another political controversy

Congress defends his reaction to media for 'repeated hounding'

Robert Vadra gets drawn into another political controversy

Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra appears to have been sucked into a political storm a day after his angry outburst to journalistic queries on his suspicious land deals in Haryana.

The deals are now reportedly being probed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Vadra may also face a tough time with the BJP trouncing Congress to occupy power for the first time in Haryana.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar gave enough indication on the fate of Vadra’s land acquisitions when he said in Chandigarh that “law will take its own course” while responding to charges levelled in a “draft CAG report” which said that Vadra pocketed nearly Rs 44 crore in a land deal during the previous Congress regime.

Unfazed by the controversy, Sonia Gandhi drove down to her daughter Priyanka and son-in-law Vadra’s residence on Sunday, but the Congress did not share details of the visit.

Party sources said Sonia reached Vadra’s 35 Lodhi Estate residence, which has seen increased police presence lately, past noon. Vadra was present in the house where Sonia spent nearly half an hour.

At the same time, the Congress came out strongly in support of Vadra, terming a TV news reporter’s questions on land purchases as “repeated hounding” which was not “appropriate”. In a statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that “repetitive hounding of an individual on an issue that has been conclusively rejected both by a constitutional body like Election Commission of India as also high courts and finally the Supreme Court is not appropriate”.

A day earlier, Priyanka Gandhi’s controversial husband was seen on a video footage losing his cool and pushing aside the microphone of a reporter who wanted to take his response on suspicious land acquisitions in Haryana during tenure of the previous chief minister Bhupender Singh Hooda of the Congress. Vadra, who was attending a function at a posh hotel in the national capital, repeatedly shouted “Are you serious?” before staring down the correspondent.

 Vadra’s behaviour invited sharp reactions from political parties. His problem compounded with the morning news report which stated that the previous Congress Haryana government did not recover over Rs 40 crore of the profit one of his companies made by selling land to DLF Universal.

BJP senior spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that Vadra’s behaviour was “arrogant” and demanded that “Congress should apologise for his behaviour”. His party colleague Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that “this is in bad taste, such things are not in his favour or his party’s and family’s favour”.

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