Rafale row has backfired on Congress as email, paper trails proving Robert Vadra’s friend Sanjay Bhandari’s link to the deal has landed Congress in deep Rafale mess. The BJP, a day after alleging the role of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in the Rafale case, has now come out and alleged that he stole papers from the Ministry of Defence.
Addressing a press briefing on Congress President’s Rafale warning, BJP national spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra said that Congress is unhappy about Rafale because of two things- "one, they didn’t get the commission, second, despite several attempts, Rahul Gandhi couldn’t be launched. 2019 is around the corner and Congress wants to launch him at any cost.
Dr Patra also claimed that the then UPA regime put Rafale on the back burner as Bhandari's company failed to become the offset partner of Dassault Aviation.
"Yesterday, we told you how Sanjay Bhandari, an arms dealer, wanted to tie-up with Dassault Aviation. But, he failed in doing so for some reasons. So, the then UPA regime had put Rafale on back burner. Bhandari has links with Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra. Today, we will present the proof of this partnership and will ask for answers from Congress President Rahul Gandhi, because he is Vadra’s relative," said BJP national spokesperson.
During the press briefing, Dr Patra claimed, "Sanjay Bhandari’s company OIS did a joint venture with Rafaute, after which he tried to forge a backdoor deal with Dassault. However, when Dassault did checks on OIS’ infrastructure, they became adamant that they did not want to go for a deal with the shady company OIS. That is why the UPA didn't let the deal go ahead because Robert Vadra was not getting the deal."
The BJP national spokesperson then went on reveal that confidential documents were recovered during raids at Sanjay Bhandari's offices and residences, and some of the recovered papers were allegedly linked to the Rafale deal.
"18 premises, including Sanjay Bhandari’s offices and residence were raided in 2016. And, in those raids, shocking documents were recovered. Confidential documents of Ministry of Defence were recovered from his house. Confidential documents of proposal to buy mid-air refuellers, documents of purchases and proposals of defence council, minutes of contract negotiation committee were recovered from Bhandari’s residence. In fact, sources have told us that papers on Rafale were recovered from his house. How these papers reached his house is a worrisome issue,"said Dr Patra.
BJP national spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra also revealed that Bhandari's company, ‘Offset India Solutions', which was involved in several deals during the UPA era was red-flagged when Modi government came to power as the company was compromising national security.
"Sanjay Bhandari has an arms dealing company, ‘Offset India Solutions,’ which was formed in 2008 and it was started with just a meager capital of Rs 1 lakh. Today, it is a company worth Rs thousands of crores, whose main job is to ‘executing offset contracts for several major defence companies’. This company was involved in several deals from 2008 to 2014. However, after Modi government came to power, the company was red-flagged as this company was compromising with the national security," said the BJP national spokesperson.
Dr Patra also said that during the raids, the evidences of Sanjay Bhandari’s link to the Gandhi family were also unearthed.
"The raids also unearthed evidences of Sanjay Bhandari’s link to the Gandhi family. A mail-trail between Sanjay Bhandari, Robert Vadra and his assistance Manoj Arora has been recovered in the raids. One of the mails reveals that one Sumit Chadha, a relative of Sanjay Bhandari, bought an estate worth Rs 19 crore for Robert Vadra in London. The address of the mansion is 12 Ellerton house, Bryanston Square, which was bought in October 2009. And, Bhandari has accepted the exchange of this mail-trail with Robert Vadra. Another email, dating back to October 4, 2010, wherein Vadra and Chadha spoke about 35 thousand pound for the refurbishing of the mansion bought for Vadra," said the BJP.
Exposing Congress' hypocrisy, the BJP national spokesperson revealed, that the Congress which is now claiming that the NDA government snatched away the Rafale contract from HAL to give it to Anil Ambani's Reliance Group, had back in 2012 awarded the contract for 181 Basic Trainer Aircrafts to Swiss company Pilatus, for which the main contender was HAL.
"There is a CBI case against Bhandari for Pilatus aircraft deal, which was signed in 2012 under the UPA regime. 12 benchmarks of Pilatus deal were changed between March and October 2009. Pilatus is a Swiss company. HAL wanted this contract, but the then UPA government awarded it to Pilatus. HAL’s HTP 40 was the main contender for the Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA). Uptil 2009. HAL was indigenously developing 181 BTAs for the IAF. But, the contract was awarded to Gandhi family so that it can get commission through the deal. And, the amount Sanjay Bhandari got for the contract was 1 million CHF. Rahul Gandhi needs to furnish an answer on this. On August 25, 2010, 2 lakh, 50 thousand CHF and on October 6, 2010, 7 lakh, 50 thousand CHF were deposited in the bank account of Sanjay Bhandari and through him to Robert Vadra," revealed Dr Patra.
He also revealed that when the deal was getting signed in India, Bhandari was mailing Robert Vadra tickets worth Rs 8 lakh each to Zurich
"When the deal was getting signed in 2012, Sanjay Bhandari, who had a travel agency -Bhandari Travel Agent International Travel Home, sent emails to Vadra. The email had tickets in them. He sent two tickets to him in a month. Per ticket was worth Rs 8 lakh. First mail was sent on August 7, 2012 and Vadra flew on August 13, 2012. And, second mail was sent on August 17, 2012, which had ticket of a Swiss flight to Zurich. When the deal was happening in India, money was getting transferred, Vadra was going to Zurich. Rahul Gandhi will have to answer what was Robert Vadra doing in Zurich with a bag of cash," said the BJP national spokesperson.