Anna targets Congress, demands judicial inquiry on Vadra

     Veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday lashed out at the UPA Government for not being serious on the issue of corruption, and challenged it to order a judicial inquiry on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra in the wake of an allegation by RTI crusader Arvind Kejriwal that he was hugely favoured by realty major DLF. Hazare said that there is no problem in ordering a judicial inquiry if the Congress believes that the allegations levelled by Kejriwal is baseless.

"Many leaders of the Congress Party say that Arvind Kejriwal has levelled charges against Robert Vadra in view of the elections and that there are no facts in this allegation. I want to say that if the allegations are wrong, then why don't they (government) go for a judicial inquiry," said Hazare. "If a judicial inquiry is conducted, then the truth will come to the fore. They reacted in the same manner when allegations were levelled against 15 Cabinet Ministers," he added. Hazare further alleged that the leaders of the Congress Party are liars and cited the UPA Government's stand on the enactment of a strong and effective Lokpal Bill to justify his statement. "The whole country has seen (the scams) and the now the whole world has come to know that Congress leaders are liars. They formed a Joint Committee on Jan Lokpal Bill, but later withdrew their stand. The bill went in the Standing Committee, they lied there. The bill went in the Parliament and they lied there. A resolution was passed in the Parliament, but they withdrew from their stand," said Hazare. "The whole world has seen that leaders of the Congress Party are liars. I will roam in the whole country and ask the people not to send these liars back to Parliament. They have ruined the country, there is no end to corruption and it has become extremely difficult for the poor people to survive," he added. India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal had earlier on Friday stunned all by levelling serious allegations against a Gandhi family member. Kejriwal questioned how Robert Vadra's wealth could have increased from Rs 50 lakh to over Rs 300 crore within three years.

Addressing a press conference along with former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and Supreme Court lawyer and IAC activist Prashant Bhushan, Kejriwal said Vadra received kickbacks from DLF. Kejriwal claimed that they have evidence to show that Vadra received kickbacks from DLF. "Robert Vadra's income grew from Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 300 crore in three years, how did this happen? DLF gave Vadra Rs. 65 crore unsecured loan. DLF gave Robert Vadra unsecured loans, what benefit did Vadra give to DLF to secure these loans," he said. Asserting that Sonia Gandhi's son in-law is involved in a property scam, Kejriwal demanded an answer from the UPA Government at the Centre on this issue. "All the details are with the government, yet no action has been taken. The Congress must answer. Multiple properties owned in Haryana, Rajasthan and Dehradun. The government must explain why this information was not acted upon," he added.

Meanwhile, Prashant Bhushan also echoed similar sentiments on the issue, and demanded that the links between Vadra and DLF should be probed. "Robert Vadra got 10,000 sq foot penthouse in DLF Aralia for Rs. 85 lakhs whose market value when sold was 25 crores, and today, it's value is 40 crores," said Bhushan. "Why did the DLF give so much money to Vadra without any obvious benefit?" he asked. The eminent lawyer further claimed that Vadra was getting benefits for DLF through the Delhi and Haryana Governments, and added that it should be probed by investigating agencies. "There are many other properties to be inquired into," said Bhushan. "Hum iss desh ke damaad hain, isi liye kuch bhi kar sakte hain? (I am the son-in-law of the country so I can get away with anything)," Bhushan added mockingly, while seeking an answer from the ruling Congress Party.

Kejriwal's explosive charge left the ruling UPA Government furious, as AICC spokespersons and several Union Ministers went ballistic against the civil society activists dubbing the charges as 'baseless and utterly irresponsible'. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni dared Kejriwal to give proof of charges against Robert Vadra "Kejriwal has floated a political party and wants to contest the elections in Delhi . To boost his image, he is levelling allegations without any proof and you (TV channels) are helping him by airing these allegations," said Soni. "In public life, we have to be careful. We cannot level allegations without proof. If an accusing finger is pointed towards someone the other three are pointing towards oneself," she added.

When asked if the government was ready for a CBI probe into the allegations that Vadra had got huge benefits from realty major DLF, Soni said she was not competent to order such a probe. "Who am I?" she said, while asserting that the transactions of the DLF and businessmen like Vadra were open to scrutiny as they regularly file income tax and wealth returns. Reacting to Kejriwal expressing doubts over Income Tax department being effective in probing the allegations against Vadra, she said, "If the department can conduct raids across the country why not inquire into these allegations? Why does he not give proof?" Congress Party termed Kejriwal's allegations against Vadra to be a conspiracy to malign Sonia Gandhi and her family. Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said the charges of social activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan against Vadra are politically motivated. The DLF has clarified that the business dealings with Robert Vadra were completely transparent.

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