Sitharaman: silence of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will be construed as acceptance of charges against Vadra. ‘Government is taking all steps to bring absconding arms dealer Bhandari back from UK to face the law’.
Cong spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala barred Times Now from press conference in Bengaluru.
BJP asked the Congress leadership on Tuesday to break their “silence” over media reports that claimed that Robert Vadra had “links” with fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was fielded by her party on Tuesday, led the charge on the Congress leadership, saying silence of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will be construed as acceptance of charges against Vadra.
Citing a media report, Sitharaman alleged that a London house linked to Vadra was refurbished by Bhandari, who also made arrangements for his travel abroad.
She claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in a bank account of Bhandari and asked if there was a connection between this and the money spent on refurbishing the London house linked to Vadra.
The minister, citing the media report, alleged that there were at least three transactions between them with “serious financial implications”.
Sitharaman asked, “Why the senior leadership of the Congress party, including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, is keeping a studied silence.” Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s frequent tweets, the minister wondered why he was keeping silent on this matter. She also claimed that the Congress leader was “copying” Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Asked what CBI was doing as it was investigating Bhandari, she said this question should be put to the agency.
The government is taking all steps to bring the absconding arms dealer back to India to face the law, she added.
Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao who also took up the issue and said, “If you believe that Vadra is innocent and then why not file a defamation suit… the silence shows guilt,”
High drama ensued when some journalists took Surjewala to task for barring the news channels. “Don’t bring Delhi culture to Karnataka,” shouted asenior journalist. Surjewala defended his decision, saying he understands the sentiments of the media but journalism is not about Congress, BJP, SP or JD-U or any other political party.