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Probe Vadra, dares SoniaSonia Gandhi & Robert Vadra. File

Probe Vadra, dares Sonia

Reports claim arms dealer bought ‘benami’ property for Vadra in London01 Jun 2016 | 2:03 AM

New Delhi: With reports emanating from enforcement agencies indicating that investigations were on to determine if controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari had bought a “benami” mansion in London for Robert Vadra in 2009, an agitated AICC president Sonia Gandhi today called it yet another conspiracy by the Centre aimed at a “Congress-mukt” India. Openly defending her son-in-law, Gandhi said, “This is a conspiracy aimed at achieving ‘Congress-mukt Bharat'. What is the meaning of Congress-free India?

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 31

With reports emanating from enforcement agencies indicating that investigations were on to determine if controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari had bought a “benami” mansion in London for Robert Vadra in 2009, an agitated AICC president Sonia Gandhi today called it yet another conspiracy by the Centre aimed at a  “Congress-mukt” India. 

Openly defending her son-in-law, Gandhi said, “This is a conspiracy aimed at achieving ‘Congress-mukt Bharat'. What is the meaning of Congress-free India? Everyday they make new excuses and level false charges. There should be a fair and impartial probe. Let the truth come out.”

Editorial: A House for Mr Vadra

The ruling BJP shot back claiming that Gandhi’s defence of her son-in-law had exposed the “farce” that he was merely a private citizen.

Vadra's lawyers stoutly denied the charges. “Vadra and his assistant Manoj Arora have not entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Sanjay Bhandari and are not even aware that Bhandari is involved in any defence transaction,” they said.

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Enforcement agencies say the investigation is based on two reports of a preliminary inquiry containing email details allegedly sent by Vadra and his executive assistant Manoj Arora. These reports carry details of the questioning of the controversial arms dealer, the sources say.

According to a TV report, enforcement agencies raided 18 premises owned by Bhandari last month. Two preliminary reports prepared after the raid claimed that Vadra and his executive assistant had sent several emails discussing payments and renovations for a London home (12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square) bought for GBP 19 lakh (Rs 19 crore) in October 2009 and sold in June 2010. 

The emails were sent to Sumit Chadda, a relative of Bhandari based in London, claimed the TV report.

Bhandari, when specifically questioned whether Vadra was the beneficiary of the sale of the Bryanston Square property in London, evaded a direct reply, saying he would be able to confirm it only after going through the sale deed which was with his lawyer in London.” 

The sources said the emails exchanged referred to redecorating the property, including the chandeliers.

Congress spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla today wrote to the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, demanding a probe into the alleged links between BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh and Bhandari. 

Unfazed,  Siddharth Singh said he had no dealings with Bhandari “except  knowing him socially” and was ready to face a probe.

Shrikant Sharma, BJP national secretary, said, “ The Congress chief’s comments has exposed the farce that Vadra is merely a private person. It has established that he is the Gandhi family and that Gandhi family is him.” BJP Member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya said the ties between Vadra and Bhandari were “nothing but suspicious”.

16 dead in Army ammo depot fire

16 dead in Army ammo depot fire

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Sixteen persons, including two officers, Lt Col RS Pawar and Maj K Manoj, were killed in a massive fire that broke out at the Central Ammunition Depot in Pulgaon (Wardha) near Nagpur in Maharashtra at 1.30 am today. The fire led to multiple explosions.

Ammunition storage being handled ‘without care’

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

CHANDIGARH: The fire at the Army’s Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) in Pulgaon near Nagpur, the latest in the string of such incidents over the past many years, ought to be a wakeup call for the government over the manner in which ammunition is stored at defence installations across the country.

Prakash Singh panel pins blame on top officers

Prakash Singh panel pins blame on top officers

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

PANAJI: Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has said Goans are “annoyed” with the behaviour, attitude and way of life of Nigerians living in the coastal state.

Attacks on Africans not racial: Sushma

Attacks on Africans not racial: Sushma

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

NEW DELHI: India today continued its efforts to contain the negative publicity spilling out from the recent attacks on the African community here. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in her first public interaction since her illness, today met a delegation of African students and assured them of their safety.

Dadri case: Meat found was beef, says lab report

Dadri case: Meat found was beef, says lab report

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

Noida/Lucknow: A report prepared by a forensic lab in Mathura has concluded that the meat found in the house of the Dadri lynching victim was beef, eight months after the attack set of a fierce debate over intolerance.

Kejri-baiter gets UPSC berth

Kejri-baiter gets UPSC berth

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

New Delhi: The Centre today appointed former Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi, who had a controversial tenure with several face-offs with the Arvind Kejriwal government, as UPSC member, a Constitutional post with five-year tenure.

China may back Azhar ban if Delhi resubmits plea: Swamy

China may back Azhar ban if Delhi resubmits plea: Swamy

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

Beijing: The Sino-Indian deadlock over a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar and others may end if India resubmits its application focussing on evidence against him than attempting to "censure" Pakistan, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today said here after talks with Chinese officials.

India among ten wealthiest nations

India among ten wealthiest nations

01 Jun 2016 | 2:04 AM

New Delhi: India has been ranked among the 10 wealthiest countries globally with total individual wealth of $5,200 billion, but this is largely owing to its large population, a report said, adding that on a per capita basis, the average Indian is "quite poor".


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4-month window to disclose black money opens today

4-month window to disclose black money opens today

01 Jun 2016 | 1:53 AM

NEW DELHI: The four-month disclosure window giving an opportunity to domestic black money holders to come clean by paying tax and penalty of 45 per cent on such assets will open tomorrow.

CITY FOCUS

UT coming up with new land allotment policy

01 Jun 2016 | 1:34 AM

CHANDIGARH:After a gap of over six years, the UT Administration has started the process for formulating a new land allotment policy for various government and non-government institutions and organisations.

NoSGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar (right) addresses the media in Amritsar on Tuesday. tribune Photo: Vishal Kumar

SGPC to form panel to resolve Dhadrianwale-Taksal tussle

01 Jun 2016 | 1:29 AM

AMRITSAR: After an unsuccessful attempt by Akal Takht to mediate between Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrainwale and Damdami Taksal head Harnam Singh Dhumma, the SGPC today initiated efforts to resolve the issue.

CM says no to CBI probe

01 Jun 2016 | 1:29 AM

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has refused to order a CBI probe into the attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale.

Growing paddy takes heavy toll on groundwater table

01 Jun 2016 | 1:29 AM

PATIALA: The failure of the state government to promote crop diversification is taking a toll on the depleting water table.

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It was administrative paralysis: Probe

It was administrative paralysis: Probe

01 Jun 2016 | 12:48 AM

CHANDIGARH: There was a complete administrative paralysis with the highest functionaries of the government neither having control over the situation nor officers in districts had guidance or direction from higher-ups at a time when Haryana was burning during the Jat agitation in February.

CM picks Pharka as Chief Secy

01 Jun 2016 | 1:32 AM

SHIMLA: Putting an end to all speculation, 1983 batch IAS officer Vidya Chander Pharka was today appointed Chief Secretary on the retirement of P Mitra.

Tamta files papers as Dhanai blinks

Tamta files papers as Dhanai blinks

01 Jun 2016 | 12:41 AM

DEHRADUN: Joint party candidate of the Congress and its ally partner Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) Pradeep Tamta filed his nomination papers for the lone Rajya Sabha seat at the Assembly building here today.

French rail workers’ strike raises Euro fears

French rail workers’ strike raises Euro fears

01 Jun 2016 | 1:01 AM

PARIS:Striking railway workers disrupted transport throughout France just 11 days before Euro 2016, as President Francois Hollande refused to back down over a labour dispute that has sparked months of protests.

GDP growth zooms to 5-year high of 7.6%

GDP growth zooms to 5-year high of 7.6%

01 Jun 2016 | 12:47 AM

NEW DELHI: In a sign of recovery in growth momentum, the economy grew at an accelerated pace of 7.9% in the fourth quarter of financial year 2015-16, taking the overall GDP growth to a five-year high of 7.6% for the full year on the back of increased consumption although investment activity remains muted.

NoNovak Djokovic borrows an umbrella as he arrives on the court for his match against Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday. Reuters

Meltdown in damp Paris

01 Jun 2016 | 2:00 AM

PARIS:Fans were left wet and miserable at a soggy Roland Garros on Tuesday — but not as drenched or depressed as Agnieszka Radwanska after the world No. 2’s French Open hopes fizzled out following a monumental meltdown against Tsvetana Pironkova.

Hockey eves lose to NZ in opener of 4-nation event

01 Jun 2016 | 2:00 AM

DARWIN (AUSTRALIA):The Indian women’s hockey team started its campaign in the four-nation tournament on a disappointing note, losing 4-1 to New Zealand here today.

We’re eyeing top-3 finish at Champions Trophy: Oltmans

01 Jun 2016 | 2:00 AM

BENGALURU:With less than 10 days to go for their opening match in the FIH Champions Trophy in London, Indian men’s hockey team coach Roelant Oltmans said he was eyeing a top-three finish in the high-profile tournament.

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