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Bikaner land case: Robert Vadra appears before ED in Jaipur; Priyanka Gandhi accompanies him

Robert Vadra with his mother Maureen Vadra. Photograph:( PTI )

PTI Jaipur, Rajasthan, India Feb 12, 2019, 03.01 PM (IST)

Robert Vadra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law, and his mother Maureen on Tuesday appeared before Enforcement Directorate's zonal office here in connection with a probe into an alleged land scam in Rajasthan's border town of Bikaner.

AICC general secretary and his wife Priyanka Gandhi accompanied them to the office and thereafter she left.

They reached ED's zonal office at Bhawani Singh Road in a vehicle escorted by police and other security personnel. Vadra's mother was allowed to leave after some time and he was also permitted to go at around 1.30 pm.

He is expected to return to the office post lunch.

Near the ED office, several banners and hoardings — of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Vadra — were put up. 

They also had slogans like "Kattar soch nahi yuva josh" and "Jan jan ki hai yehi pukar, Rahul ji-Priyanka ji abki baar'.

PCC vice president Archana Sharma said she had no information about these posters.

"The party has not put up any such hoardings," she asserted.

This is Vadra's fourth appearance before the agency and first in Jaipur. On last three occasions, he appeared before ED in Delhi in connection with a money laundering probe against him for his alleged role in procuring assets abroad.

The Rajasthan High Court had asked Vadra and his mother to cooperate with the agency after they approached it seeking directions that no coercive action is taken against them by the agency.

In the Bikaner land case, the agency had summoned Vadra thrice but he failed to appear and later approached the court.

The ED had registered a criminal case in connection with the deal in 2015, taking cognisance of a clutch of FIRs and charge sheets filed by Rajasthan police after the tehsildar of Bikaner complained about alleged forgery in the allotment of land in the area, considered sensitive due to its proximity to the Indo-Pak border.

It is understood that the agency wants to question Vadra about the operations of a firm — Ms Skylight Hospitality Private Limited — allegedly linked to him, which had purchased land in the area. It also wants to confront Vadra with the statements of those said to be linked to him.