January 18, 2022

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BJP uses middleman’s claims as ammo to target Gandhis

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BJP uses middleman’s claims as ammo to target Gandhis
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BJP uses middleman’s claims as ammo to target Gandhis
BJP uses middleman’s claims as ammo to target Gandhis

NEW DELHI: BJP on Tuesday seized upon fugitive defence middleman Sanjay Bhandari’s claims to have brokered several arms deals under UPA, highlighting his ‘close friendship’ with Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
“Sonia Gandhi ji break your silence,” BJP spokesperson Gourav Bhatia demanded while citing news reports about Bhandari seeking political asylum in the United Kingdom on grounds of his alleged persecution under the BJP government since 2014.
According to an exclusive report in UK’s ‘Daily Telegraph’, Bhandari has also sued French company Thales for not giving him his promised commission for the defence deals he brokered during the UPA regime.
For the sake of transparency and accountability, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should respond to this, Bhatia said.
“Sanjay Bhandari, we all know, is a close friend of Robert Vadra,” the BJP spokesperson said, adding that the former in a sworn affidavit filed in a court has claimed that he had a deal with Thales for upgrading fighter aircraft (Mirage 2000) in India for which the French company was supposed to pay him a commission of Rs 170 crore.
“He has already received Rs 75 crore and is yet to get the remaining Rs 90-95 crore,” Bhatia said.
Bhandari, who came under the radar of investigating agencies after 2014, fled the country. ED has sought his extradition and an important round of hearing in UK court is scheduled next month.
“This news shows where there is corruption, it has its links to Congress,” Bhatia claimed, alleging that the grand old party took money even in defence deals, which is a matter of concern. He said the Narendra Modi government has zero tolerance for corruption and as a result the change in regime ensured people like Bhandari are facing extradition.
Bhatia said the 2011 defence deal, which Bhandari claimed he had helped Thales with, was for an amount of Rs 18,000-20,000 crore and involved modernisation of aircraft.
The BJP spokesperson gave details of how part of the payoffs was transferred to Bhandari in his UAE and Dubai accounts using a web of shell companies. He also claimed that Vadra-Bhandari links had earlier emerged in connection with land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan.
These land deals are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case registered against Robert Vadra.
Bhandari’s links with Vadra are already being investigated by ED, with sources alleging that the absconding defence middleman paid for the refurbishment of a London flat belonging to the latter.

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