Vadra, Bhandari link reason behind Rafale deal cancellation: BJP

New Delhi: Stepping up the attack on the Congress, BJP on Tuesday said that there was a nexus between Rahul Gandhi’s brother in law Robert Vadra and arms dealer and middleman Sanjay Bhandari due to which the Rafale deal with French firm was cancelled in 2012.

“Bhandari, who has close links with Vadra, formed a company named Offset India Solutions (OIS) in 2008 and he formed a joint venture with Rafaut as he tried to enter into an offset clause in the Rafale fighter jets deal through the back door,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sambit Patra told the media here.

He alleged that the then government mounted pressure on the French firm Dassault Aviation to give works to Bhandari’s company.

“But when Dassault verified the infrastructure of OIS, it found that they did not have the required criteria. It also found Bhandari’s links with Vadra. So Dassault became adamant and they made it clear that they do not want to enter into any kind of deal with the OIS,” he said.

“And this was the reason why the Rafale deal was then scrapped after years of negotiations as Vadra was not getting the commission out of the deal,” he accused.

Patra also said that the Congress played with national security and the strength of the Indian Air Force.

“When the BJP government came to power in 2014, investigations started against Bhandari. And during raids at 18 places in 2016 at the premises of Bhandari a lot of classified documents were recovered,” he said.

He said that Bhandari’s company was also blacklisted by the Indian government.

Alleging links between Vadra and Bhandari, the BJP leader said that during raids in 2016, the emails exchanged between Vadra, Bhandari, Vadra’s close associate Manoj Arora and a relative of Bhandari named Sumit Chahdha, also came to the fore.

“In an email it was revealed that Bhandari’s relative Chahdha paid Rs 19 crore for a flat in London for Vadra,” Patra alleged.

He also alleged that Bhandari’s firm also paid for the air travels of Vadra in 2012.

“The government has acted against Bhandari as per law. And today we are saying that Vadra also would not be spared,” he said.

The BJP leader further alleged that the then Congress government also rejected Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-developed Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 and went for the Swiss aircraft Pilatus in 2012.

“This deal was given to the Swiss company to bribe the Gandhi family and to pay commission on the deal to the Gandhi family,” he added.