Businessman Robert Vadra, the husband of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, today indicated that he was open to a “larger role in serving the people”. His Facebook post comes days after his wife, who is also the daughter of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, entered active politics as the in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh. The announcement was greeted with jeers by the BJP, which has relentlessly targeted the 49-year-old since his name was linked to several corruption cases. Mr Vadra is currently being questioned in a money laundering case. His name has surfaced in other cases involving land deals.
Mr Vadra, who claims the cases against him are instances of “political witch-hunt”, indicated that he has political ambitions earlier as well. The Congress had never commented on the matter and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had downplayed it, saying the media had misquoted him.
However, in the poignant post on social media, the son-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi also said something surprising – a possible hint of entering politics. “The years and months that I spent campaigning and working in different parts of the country, but mainly in Uttar Pradesh, gave me a feeling to do more for the people… I feel I should dedicate a larger role in serving the people,” Vadra wrote on Facebook.
“More than a decade of different governments trying to malign me, using and highlighting my name to divert real issues of the country… People of the country gradually realised this modus (operandi) and knew there was no truth in any of these allegations,” he said.
More than a decade of different governments trying to malign me, using n highlighting my name to divert real issues of…
Promptly after Mr Vadra’s announcement, the BJP tweeted from his official handle, saying:
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 24, 2019
Investigators claim Mr Vadra directly or indirectly owns nine London-based properties cumulatively worth around 12 million pounds. Three of these are villas, the rest luxury flats purchased between 2005 and 2010, when the UPA government was in power.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has shown solidarity with her husband, dropping him off or picking him up from the lengthy questioning sessions at the Enforcement Directorate offices in Delhi and Jaipur.
She said her presence was a “message” to the detractors of her husband and family.