NEW DELHI: Shortly before she took charge as AICC general secretary in charge of UP (East), Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday accompanied her embattled husband Robert Vadra up to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) office, sending a clear message of family solidarity. The ED had summoned Robert in connection with a money laundering case
“What’s the message?...he is my husband. I support my family,” Priyanka said after she dropped him outside the ED office at Jamnagar House here.
On her way back, Priyanka surprised observers by reaching the Congress headquarters and taking formal charge of the UP responsibility. For, she was expected to do so on Thursday, when she was slated to also attend a meeting of all general secretaries and state in charges to discuss strategy for the coming Lok Sabha elections. Party president Rahul Gandhi will chair the meet.
Priyanka spent around 45 minutes in her office - right next Rahul’s - and interacted with a few functionaries.
Party insiders claimed they had factored in a political ‘witch-hunt’ against Robert. They recalled how Priyanka had come out in his defence when he was targeted by the BJP in 2014 at a time when the Congress was fumbling for a response.
After leaving the AICC office, Priyanka continued her parleys with Rahul and select senior leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, who assumed charge as AICC general secretary of UP (West). They discussed her launch in Lucknow on February 10 or 11 and the configuration of the new teams to assist them in the state.
A team of three ED officials questioned Robert for around six hours over alleged possession of illegal foreign assets. The questions revolved around his London assets and properties, specifically the purchase of a property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth £1.9 mn.
Six-hour grilling on money laundering
- ED team grills Robert Vadra for six hours, asks him about 12 questions
- Most of them revolve around his London assets, specially a property at 12, Bryanston Sq worth £1.9 mn
- Robert denies having any connection with fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari
- ED records his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and examines documents related to his income tax