The tim­ing seems po­lit­i­cal

Why grill Robert Vadra now?

Business Standard - - OPINION -

Faith in the fair­ness of po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions is in short sup­ply in In­dia. The En­force­ment Direc­torate — an in­ves­tiga­tive agency, like the dis­cred­ited CBI — ques­tioned Robert Vadra, the hus­band of re­cently-ap­pointed AICC gen­eral sec­re­tary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, for six hours on Wed­nes­day and again on Thurs­day. It ap­pears the al­le­ga­tion of money-laun­der­ing and the pos­ses­sion of prop­er­ties in London has been made against Ms Gandhi’s hus­band. He has de­nied these al­le­ga­tions in de­tailed replies and has al­leged a “witch-hunt”. The BJP, on the other hand, held a press con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day at which it al­leged that Mr Vadra made money il­le­gally in pe­tro­leum and de­fence deals when the UPA was in power, and used earn­ings from these trans­ac­tions to buy the London prop­er­ties. The saf­fron party of­fered no proof.

But what is ev­i­dent is that In­dia sent no let­ter roga­tory to the British au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate Mr Vadra’s sus­pi­cious deal­ings, if there were any, in that coun­try. So it’s not clear on what ba­sis the ED is build­ing its case. The ques­tion is apt to be asked if pulling her hus­band in for ques­tion­ing is the gov­ern­ment's way of de­grad­ing the charis­matic Ms Gandhi as an ef­fec­tive elec­tion cam­paigner against the BJP, es­pe­cially in Ut­tar Pradesh, where Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s Lok Sabha con­stituency is lo­cated.

The Asian Age, Fe­bru­ary 8

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