Robert Vadra, brother in law of Congress president received direct payment of 300 crore rupees from Pilatus Aircraft limited.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 25, 2019
Ironically Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised direct transfer of 72,000 rupees per year to the accounts of poorest 20 percent families of the country. However, the direct payment received by Robert Vadra is 5000 times more than promised by Rahul Gandhi to poor people of the country.
In a preliminary inquiry of 2012 Pilatus aircraft deal, CBI found the involvement of fugitive defense dealer Sanjay Bhandari who has family relations with Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi. Pilatus paid 7, 50,000 Swiss Francs to Bhandari’s Offset India Solution Pvt Ltd as commission. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating 2012 Pilatus Aircraft Deal worth 2900 crore. The Defense Ministry ordered 75 PC-7 Turbo Trainers for the Indian Air Force.
IAF confirmed HTT-40 for the deal and stated that it had the requirement of 180 trainers. But the deal later was bagged by Pilatus because Robert Vadra’s family friend was backing the Swiss manufacturer. The UPA government ordered probe in shady deals of Sanjay Bhandari back in 2013. Offset India Solutions Private Limited, Micromet ATI and AVAANA Software and Services Private Limited, three companies owned by Bhandari were being investigated by the CBI. But the probe was later suspended due to pressure from high officials. “Dassault Mirage upgrade programme worth thousands of crores, have emerged through these group companies (owned by Bhandari). Commissions have been paid through international companies like Dassault, MBDA and Thales; all French companies under the garb of consultancy to Bhandari’s firms. Under offset contracts, large amount of commission have been paid via fictitious billing,” revealed a secret note of 2013.
The light-attack aircraft deal was signed in 2012 because powerful lobbyist like Bhandari pushed for it. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the state-owned defense manufacturer could have upgraded and even modified the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 which has almost a similar function. But the UPA government did not ask the HAL to do the same and purchased the light attack aircraft from the Swiss company. The Swiss aircraft manufacturer paid a hefty amount to Sanjay Bhandari who lobbied/influenced UPA government to make the deal. Earlier, the business families linked Nehru-Gandhi family or other leaders of Congress party were linked to major defense scams as well.
The hesitation of the Congress party to accept capitalism as economic ideology forced the party to embrace crony capitalism. The industrial deals were being made behind closed doors and bidding was open to few selected people who were supporters of Congress party. The Nehru-Gandhi family did not like to be seen with industrialists in public although they were more than happy to meet them in Delhi circles. This double standard has harmed the country in many ways as the big contracts were given on the basis of whether the industrialist is close to the Gandhi family or some other Congress leaders. This aspect is particularly worrisome in terms of defense deals where the requirements of the armed forces were set aside in favor of the lobbyist (such as Sanjay Bhandari, Ottavio Quattrocchi and Christian Michel) having access to the Nehru-Gandhi family.
The Modi government is trying to achieve a rule-based capitalist economy where personal contacts with leaders will play no role as long as an industrialist is the highest bidder for the contract.