NEW DELHI: Robert Vadra may well be Priyanka Gandhi’s Achilles’ heel. Gandhi, who was officially inducted into active politics on Wednesday in a pre-election move by the Congress, will play lead at the electorally pivotal region of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
However, Vadra’s tryst with law enforcement agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in alleged land grab and money laundering cases, could just be the key differentiator between success and failure for Gandhi.
And, the controversial reputation of her spouse, could just provide the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the much needed ammunition against Gandhi, and the Congress.
The Enforcement Directorate had summoned Vadra in November in connection with a 2012 land grab case in Rajasthan.
After two summons by the agency were ignored, it raided his office premises in December.
In September 2015, too, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, alleging that Vadra-owned Skylight Hospitality had bought land in Kolayat, Rajasthan, at a throwaway price, before selling it at a high premium through illegal transactions.
Vadra has termed the agency’s repeated summons a “witch hunt", while the Congress has labelled it as a tactic of the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attack the opposition ahead of the elections.
However, a senior central government official, requesting anonymity, denied the allegations.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a zero-tolerance policy on corruption. Contrary to allegations that some Congress leaders have levelled that we are unfairly targeting them, the agencies have solid evidence and cases against them and, which is why, they are under investigation. The law will run its own course."