The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday took a dig at businessman Robert Vadra and said he was now eligible for the Bharat Ratna as he had accepted that he “looted”. Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged money laundering.
The party was reacting to a news report quoting Vadra as saying that he was still in the country while many others had fled, purportedly referring to businessmen such as Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who are involved in fraud cases.
“I’m in this country, there are people who have looted the country and run away, what about them,” he the businessman had asked on Wednesday, according to ANI. “I’m always going to be in this country, I will not leave or be in active politics till I clear my name, that is my promise.”
In response, the Bharatiya Janata Party said in a tweet: “Robert is really honest. Thanks for accepting that you looted. You are now eligible for the Bharat Ratna as per your family quota :)”
Vadra appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi several times for questioning last month. He is alleged to have used laundered money to buy real estate in the United Kingdom. He is also being investigated in the Bikaner land scam case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. On March 2, Delhi’s Patiala House Court extended the interim bail granted to him in the first case till March 19.
In February, Vadra expressed interest in “a larger role in serving the people” once he sees through the various investigations that he is undergoing. In a Facebook post on February 25, Vadra wrote about various initiatives of social work that he claimed to have undertaken. He posted more than three dozen photographs of him being involved in such activities. After visiting the Enforcement Directorate for interrogation in different cases, Vadra claimed to “have been a person to learn from every event I go through”.
In a statement later in the day, he had said: “I don’t have to be in politics to help the people of the country, but if by joining I can make a larger difference, then why not? But the people will decide”.
The next day, posters had emerged in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad welcoming him to contest elections from the constituency. But, when asked about the posters he said he first needed to “absolve from baseless accusations and allegations”.
“But yes, I will start working on it. There is no hurry. People need to feel that I can make a change... All in time,” he had said.