After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) grilled Congress president Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law Robert Vadra again on Tuesday, Republic TV has gathered details divulging his contradictions in connection with his questioning over a series of alleged land dealing cases in Delhi-NCR, Bikaner and properties in London, with a twist emerging.
The connection between CC Thampi, the Dubai-based businessman through whom the ED suspects kickbacks were routed in a petroleum deal in 2009, and Robert Vadra has emerged as a potentially crucial revelation which the investigative agencies are looking into very closely.
As per details of the ED's questioning accessed by Republic, there are two versions of how CC Thampi, who is believed to have had links with the Gandhi family that go back decades, was introduced to Robert Vadra.
During the course of the numerous times Vadra appeared to answer the ED's summons, his version of the story contradicts with that of his associates probed in the case. When questioned over how he met Thampi, Vadra on February 6 had allegedly responded saying that he met him on an Emirates flight. However, the version is a direct contradiction to Thampi's own account as he had said to the agency in 2017 itself that the two were introduced by Sonia Gandhi's personal assistant Madhavan.
In an intricate web, parts of which have been admitted by the Congress party, that goes through one man, here is the alleged break down of the land deal network-
Thampi has received multiple summons by the ED. However, he responded saying that he is receiving medical treatment abroad.
1st contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra knows a Puja Chadha:
On February 7, 2019, Vadra refused to answer the question, saying that he "cannot categorically state". Later, on March 8, 2019, Vadra stated that he does not know Chadha.
2nd contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra knows Sumit Chadha, who is a relative of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, regarding properties in London:
Robert Vadra during the questioning on February 7, said that he has not met Sumit Chadha. However, in a contradiction, his associates said on January 14 that Vadra met Chadha through Sanjay Bhandari
3rd Contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra knows Dubai-based businessman CC Thampi through whom the ED suspects kickbacks were routed in a petroleum deal in 2009:
During the questioning on February 6, Robert Vadra had told the probe agency that he met Thampi on board an Emirates flight. However, on April 6, 2017, Thampi has told ED that he met Vadra through Madhavan, who was UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's PA.
4th Contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra has any knowledge about 12 Bryanston Square (BSQ).
On February 7, Vadra said that he never stayed at the London residence. However, contradicting him, on April 6, 2017, Thampi had told ED that Vadra has stayed at 12 BSQ
5th Contradiction | Emails from Sumit Chadha and Puja Chadha:
On February 6, 2019, Robert Vadra agreed that a particular email Id belonged to him. On the next day, however, in response to his associates' statement that he would be able to explain certain emails written to him, Vadra denied that the mails in question - which Manoj Arora said had been written by Sumit Chadha to Vadra - were written to him.
6th Contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra knows a Vipul Beriwala, who the ED suspects to be one of the key players in the money-laundering scam.
On February 7, Vadra denied of knowing Vipul Beriwala. However, on the contrary, Vadra's close aide Manoj Arora on January 14, told ED that while he does not Vipul Beriwala, if Beriwala has sought an appointment with 'RV', the contact would be in the latter's phone. Beriwala's contact is in Vadra's phone.
7th Contradiction | Whether RV stands for Robert Vadra in emails:
During the interrogation on February 2019, Robert Vadra said that he is not known as RV and people fo not refer to him as RV. However, Manoj Arora on January 1, said that MRV in his mobile contact refers to Mr Robert Vadra.
8th Contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra knows Jagdish Sharma, who is a Congress leader and is known to be his close confidante:
On February 6, Robert Vadra said that Jagdish Sharma "hovers" around him, follows him and tries to associate with him and has never worked for him. On the contrary, on December 8, 2018, Jagdish Sharma told ED that he is close to Gandhi family but he is closest to Vadra. That he does political profiling of Vadra and advises him on matters is what Sharma told the probe agency.
9th Contradiction | Whether Robert Vadra is known as "Sahab":
On February 7, Vadra told ED that his subordinates refer to him as "Boss". Later on March 8, he said that he is not referred to as "Robert Sahab". On the contrary, on 8th December 2018, an Anuj Nautiyal in his statement has stated that Jagdish Sharma has told him that his (Sharma's) "boss" had invested in the foreign properties in London. Furthermore, Jagdish Sharma has stated that he refers to Vadra as "Sahab". On January 16, Manoj Arora said that Robert Vadra is referred to as 'Robert Sahab' and 'RV'.
Moreover, he has also denied meeting Sanjay Bhandari, saying that he cannot recollect having met him or travelling with him.
These developments have come days after Robert Vadra was granted permission to travel to the Netherlands and the United States of America for a medical check-up. His request to be able to travel to London was denied, however, with the ED opposing it. The ED is probing multiple cases which involve Robert Vadra including Bikaner Land deal, London properties and land deal in Haryana's Gurugram.