Robert Vadra-Sanjay Bhandari air ticket investigation hits dead end

Nirmala Sitharaman Defence Minister

The speculation which rose after the raid on Bhandari's properties created political ripple past year in April.

The senior leader also said that the BJP should establish facts if it has anything on alleged link between party President's son-in-law and fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

Countering the BJP's attack on Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and terming it a "witch hunt", the Congress on Wednesday demanded to know who paid for over 100 trips Prime Minister Narendra Modi made by chartered plane across India and overseas when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister between 2003 and 2007.

The Times of India report said emails accessed by the channel show that the agent bought Vadra's air tickets.

While Vadra did not react to the media report, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi could get "any investigation" done into any allegations against the party chief's son-in-law to find out if there was any "wrongdoing". And this had included questions put to him on air tickets being booked for Vadra and who had made the payments.

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Under the radar of both the Income Tax authorities and the Enforcement Directorate are the businesses of the company which is worth around several hundred crores. Sanjay Bhandari's business dealings were red-flagged in 2014 after the NDA came to power. "His (Robert Vadra's) house in London was also refurbished", Sitharaman said during media briefing at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Vadra had denied links with Bhandari when in 2016 it was reported that his London flat at 12 Ellerton House in Bryaton Square was renovated by Bhandari.

Arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari is also known to have been involved in money laundering. "Bhandari, incidentally, had received huge payments from Swiss aircraft major Pilatus in his Dubai account".

A top I-T official in this regard said, "Our investigations have so far revealed that while the payments came in from Pilatus, they were quickly routed out to several offshore companies within a day or two". "It was all done in a very clever and layered manner and the case has become a challenge", the official added.



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