Robert Vadra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law, on Wednesday, again reached the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) office in Jaipur in connection with an alleged land scam in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.
On Tuesday, he was interrogated for nine hours by the ED. Vadra, remained at the ED’s zonal office till about 8.30 pm, except for a lunch break during which he was allowed to leave the premises for an hour. His mother Maureen was also questioned for some time.
Taking time off from her four-day Uttar Pradesh trip, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra dropped Vadra and his mother off at the ED office.
Congress workers shouted slogans when Vadra arrived for the questioning and when he left for his hotel at night.
“The interrogation lasted for nearly nine hours. He has given answers to the questions from the ED officers. He will once again appear before the ED zonal office in Jaipur at 10.30 am,” Vadra’s lawyer Suman Jyoti Khaitan told reporters.
Vadra’s lawyers said his mother has not been called for questioning as she is not keeping well. She has, however, assured full cooperation in the probe, they said.
On Facebook, Vadra accused the Narendra Modi government of being vindictive ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, and putting his mother through harassment.
"Not understanding the lows of this vindictive government to be harassing a senior citizen," Vadra said, describing how his mother had lost her daughter in a car crash, her ailing son to diabetes, and her husband as well.
"Three deaths and all I did was to ask her to spend time with me in my office, so I could look after her and we both could grieve on our losses," the 50-year-old businessman said, adding that now his mother was paying the price of "spending time in my office" by "being accused, maligned and called to be interrogated".
This was Vadra's first appearance before the ED in Jaipur in connection with charges of money laundering through land deals made by a company linked to him. Vadra was asked by the Rajasthan High Court to cooperate with the agency.
His Jaipur appearance follows soon after he faced ED questioning for three days in Delhi on a different set of charges relating to property allegedly purchased in London.
Vadra is also facing accusations of irregular land deals in Haryana's Gurugram district. Vadra and his mother reached the ED's zonal office at Bhawani Singh Road, amid tight security.
Near the ED office, some Congress workers shouted slogans in support of Priyanka Gandhi, and also repeated the slogan given by her brother Rahul Gandhi, calling Modi a “thief”.
“Chowkidar chor hai,” they shouted.
Several hoardings were put up nearby showing pictures of Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra, and saying that people wanted Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to come to power this time.
"Jan Jan ki hai yehi pukar, Rahul ji-Priyanka ji abki baar,” the banners said.
In the Bikaner case, the agency had summoned Vadra thrice but he failed to appear before it.
The Rajasthan High Court asked him and his mother to cooperate with the agency after they approached it, seeking directions that no coercive action is taken against them by the ED.
The ED had registered a case in connection with the deal in 2015, taking cognisance of a clutch of FIRs and chargesheets filed by the Rajasthan police after the Bikaner tehsildar complained about alleged forgery in land allotment.
It is understood that the agency wanted to question him on the operations of Skylight Hospitality Private Limited, allegedly linked to him, which purchased land in the area. It also wanted to confront Vadra with the statements of those said to be linked to him.
(With PTI inputs)