22 June, 2021

Country-Made Howitzer

Another Bofors moment for the Congress? You could well say so.

Country-Made Howitzer

The key question in l’affaire Vadra is similar to the key question in l’affaire Bofors. “What services did A.E. Services provide for Ottavio Quattrocchi to swing the deal in favour of Bofors?” Chitra Subramaniam Duella, whose reports from Geneva in The Hindu had exposed the payment of kickbacks, had asked then. It’s a question she still asks. Reframing it for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, whose alleged acquisitions through unsecured loans from realty giant DLF have been exposed by anti-corruption campaigner Arvind Kejriwal, she puts it thus: “What services has Vadra rendered to become a millionaire overnight?” As for the denials—from Vadra, DLF, many Union ministers and Congress functionaries—she says, “Then, as now, when denials are disproportionate to the allegations, they raise suspicion.”

There always have been whispers of what powered the rise and rise of Vadra, who is married to Sonia’s daughter Priyanka and is sometimes referred to as the country’s...

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