Vadra, his mother appear before ED in Jaipur

Businessman Robert Vadra leaves to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, in connection with the alleged Bikaner land scam, in Jaipur, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also seen. (PTI Photo)

Businessman Robert Vadra, husband of  AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, and his mother Maureen on Tuesday appeared before Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) zonal office in Jaipur in connection with a probe into a reported land scam in Rajasthan’s border town of Bikaner.

He was accompanied by Priyanka Gandhi when he reached the ED's office on Monday.

Vadra and his mother had reached Jaipur on Tuesday and Priyanka joined them at night after concluding her first public rally in Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday morning, Vadra and his mother reached the ED’s zonal office at Bhawani Singh Road in a vehicle escorted by police and other security personnel.

Both were allowed to leave after 1:30 PM. Vadra who refused to speak to media, took to his Facebook, saying: "So here we are, my 75-year-old mother and me in Jaipur to depose in front of the Enforcement Directorate. Not understanding the lows of this vindictive government to be harassing a senior citizen, who the world knows has lost her daughter in a car crash, her ailing son to diabetes, and her husband as well..."

Pro Priyanka Slogans

Outside the ED office hundreds of Congress supporters chanted slogans like, "Chowkidar chor hai, Jan jan ki hai yehi pukar, Rahul ji-Priyanka ji abki baar’.

Several banners of both Rahul and Priyanka were also put outside the office.

However, the Congress refused to take any responsibility on these posters.

PCC vice-president Archana Sharma said, "We have no clue about the origin of these posters, at least no one in the party has put these up".

This is Vadra's fourth appearance before the ED and first appearance in Jaipur.

On the last three occasions, he appeared before ED in Delhi in connection with a money laundering probe against him for his alleged role in procuring assets abroad.

Last month, the Rajasthan High Court had asked Vadra and his mother to cooperate with the agency after they approached it seeking directions that no coercive action is taken against them by the agency.

In the Bikaner land case, the agency had summoned Vadra thrice but he failed to appear and later approached the court.

The ED filed a money laundering case in 2015 after it took note of several First Information Reports (FIRs) filed by the Rajasthan Police, which received complaints from the Bikaner tehsildar on alleged forgery in land allotment in the area, considered sensitive due to its proximity to the border with Pakistan.

Sources reveal that ED also wanted to question Vadra about the operations of a firm— Ms Skylight Hospitality Private Limited— allegedly linked to him, which had purchased land in the area.

Last week, too, Robert Vadra was questioned for 24 hours over the course of three days by the ED in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering in purchase of assets abroad.

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