Hours before his ED appearance, Robert Vadra became the face of Congress promotional campaign as posters of him being depicted as one of the three real leaders of the Congress party were put up outside the AICC headquarters in New Delhi before being taken off by the NDMC. Speaking over which, his aide Jagdish Sharma came out in his defence calling him his 'neta' and accusing the BJP of directing the ED against Vadra.
His aide said, "Robert Vadra is a very honest man, and BJP has proclaimed that he's a thief and ED has not even called him and he's a thief, they claim. This is dirty politics. Robert Vadra is my leader, he's Priyanka Gandhi's husband and the entire Congress party is standing strong with him. The posters will be installed around the country."
When questioned if he was the Congress 'neta', Sharma responded saying, "People who do service work are 'netas'. He feeds the poor and children, goes to the temple, gurudwara and even to blind schools."
"The family he is married in is a family of such big leaders, so isn't he a leader? It great that such an honest leader is in the family," he added.
The incident occurred hours before Vadra's scheduled appearance before Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case relating to alleged possession of illegal foreign assets.
To which he said, "Why would ED call him? They're probably pressured by the government. They are trying to suppress Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. The entire country and media are speaking about them, the weak link is Robert Vadra. There are corruption charges even on ex CM of Madhya Pradesh (Shivraj Singh Chouhan), BJP leader Mukul Roy is accused of Saradha scam, and the entire country is looking at Rafale, if Modi comes in front of media they will tear his clothes apart."
"I will paste the posters in Delhi, will keep putting it again. The posters were being removed, so I called them and they told me that even I am a 'Congress-i' but we're being pressurised and when I asked who is calling they said its BJP they are saying that Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra's posters should not be put up in Delhi. Where we have pictures, even Modi sahaab has his posters installed, we never opposed it. But now he's become a god, they will decide what happens to whom. But they should not try to be gods, the country is watching," he added.
"My only message is, Robert Vadra is being wrongly accused by the BJP, and the more you try to blame him the more aggressively we will oppose. He is the 'damaad' of our party. ED is dancing on the tunes of BJP. He is just helping his family. If the time comes he will even run for elections."
The posters had shown the current crop of the Congress first family - party president Rahul Gandhi, newly-installed party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and her husband, a 'private citizen' Robert Vadra - outside the AICC office in Delhi. The posters carried the official markings and logos of the Congress party and came along with the tagline from the party's media ad campaign 'Kattar Soch Nahi, Yuva Josh (Not bigotry but young thinking) and it also said- “Jan jan ki hai, yahi pukar Rahul ji-Priyanka ji abki baar.” (People of the nation want Rahul and Priyanka this time).
The Congress has maintained for a number of years now that any action against Vadra is an expression of political vendetta, and that Vadra himself is not a member of the Congress, rather that he's a 'private citizen' - something that Vadra himself has perpetuated. However, along with Priyanka Gandhi's formal entry into politics, inputs have also stated that there may be a significant role for Robert Vadra.