The entire episode of Robert Vadra & DLF Combine vs Arvind Kejriwal is very interesting. Not just because of the allegations and evidence that Kejriwal has produced. But because it is NOT news.
This was known for very long now. Why is that important?
Because it leads us to focus on THREE parties: Mainstream National Media, Opposition Parties and DLFs Auditors.
Mainstream Media – inefficient or in bed with the Corrupt?
The actions of providing unsecured loans with almost no interest rate to Vadra companies are so audacious, that it is difficult to believe that anybody following DLF as a company in the media didn’t catch it. Media has the wherewithal to dig deeper and come up with answers. It has a duty to go investigate things that aren’t adding up. R. Jagannathan in FirstPost says it well:
This writer learns from journalist colleagues that at least two publications did have information on the DLF-Vadra capers well before Kejriwal came on the scene, but neither of them chose to pursue it. In one case, a story was even written in draft form, but it never made it to print. While it is always possible to find justifications for killing a story—not enough facts, not enough quotes from the accused, not enough new material, etc.—the fact is simple information from the registrar of companies is available to everyone. Few publications went in search of it till recently.
Instead, what was media doing BEFORE the Kejriwal Expose? Sitting on its stinking back-side twitching thumbs! Worse, what has it been doing AFTER the expose? Acting like a Over-Hyper-Kill-the-Messenger Postman. They didn’t come up with the expose, that is bad enough. But even when the expose HAS been done, instead of putting a bunch of Chartered Accountants and Lawyers to task on the Annual Reports, they are simply playing Postman! Kejriwal said this.. Vadra said this… Vadra’s so and so flunky said this.. the despicable puppy PM said that. And, btw, Kejriwal is such a loser and Vadra greatest gift from God because of this, this and that!
That, the media is beholden… er SOLD is a better word to Sonia Gandhi and Goons Combine is an easy deduction. But by targeting the Whistle-Blower, Media has just struck its own Death-knell. If in a country, it is a sin to be a public whistle-blower when the plunderers are plundering the nation and media in their neat-nice pocket playing Hula-Hoop, then what is the way forward??
The role of opposition parties is the most baffling! While the rest were not even bothered, BJP and Left wanted to corner Congress, but somehow the whole thing tapered off inexplicably.
TOI STory on March 16, 2011 BJP, Left to corner Cong on Vadra’s rise:
On Tuesday, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, “The matter is a serious one and the party is gathering documents to aise it with the prominence it deserves.”
She said the party had “entrusted” leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley to collect facts on Vadra’s rise. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury was on the same track. “It looks like a serious matter and our party is ascertaining facts and will come up with a structured reaction on this,” he said.
Interesting. So the party senior leaders found it important enough. But Swapan Dasgupta was tweeting something totally different.
<blockquote><p>Resistance in BJP on raising Vadra issue is from some a of its ex-Presidents</p>— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) <a href=”https://twitter.com/swapan55/status/47952190240866304″ data-datetime=”2011-03-16T09:27:47+00:00″>March 16, 2011</a></blockquote>
<script src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
So who were against the whole thing? It seems BJP’s “past presidents”! A contact, Bhupendra Chaube tries to get to the identity, but that is not it.
TOI again reported the next day, March 17, 2011:
Differences were evident at a meeting of BJP leaders in Parliament on Wednesday with some leaders advocating caution while some others felt Congress could be asked some questions on Vadra’s activities. Leader of Opposition in the Lok Saba Sushma Swaraj felt it would not be good form to target family members of political rivals.
The argument that political battles would get out of hand if they got “personal” is likely to be tested with Vadra’s sudden progress as an entrepreneur dominating talk in Parliament corridors in both Congress and BJP circles.
They Knew It!
So, one thing is clear – Opposition Parties, specifically the BJP – knew of the Vadra land deals and the mess in there for OVER an year! And, they stalled – deliberately! – any attempt to take any action. And this direction was coming from the top!
And, since the Media – TOI, in this case – was reporting of the case, they KNEW IT as well!
What bigger Red Herring did the media need? Did they want Robert Vadra to come to its editor’s office and explain his perfidy??
It turns out that the one guy who was on this story, Swapan Dasgupta did point to the Quid Pro Quo, which is still, even NOW, only being “alluded” to in the few circles that Vadragate is being talked about.
What About the Auditors?
At least the auditors should have known?
So what did the auditors say of the unsecured loans by DLF in the DLF Annual Report?
iii. a) The Company has granted unsecured loans to eight parties
covered in the register maintained under Section 301 of the Act. The
maximum amount outstanding during the year is Rs. 627,127.10 lacs and the
year- end balance is Rs. 527,741.48 lacs.
b) In our opinion, the rate of interest and other terms and conditions
of such loans are not, prima facie, prejudicial to the interest of the
That means roughly USD 116 Billion worth of Unsecured loans were given out by DLF and its Auditors in their abundant wisdom say that these loans are “not prejudicial” to the interest of the company?!! Really!!
Total Systemic Collapse
The Government is corrupt and full of plunderers. The Media is incompetent, inefficient, and corrupt and in bed with the corrupt Government. The Opposition is in bed with the corrupt Government as well! The Auditing community is sold out and not doing its job.
I am not sure how you put it, but in my view it is called a Systemic Collapse. Total.
An article from ET, I have copied to this site from here – as it has a lot of details!
Economic Times | Page: 1 ROHINI SINGH & SRUTHIJITH KK NEW DELHI | March 14, 2011
Vadra Makes Low-Key Entry into Real Estate
Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law ties up with DLF, buys tracts of land in tier-III cities in Haryana & Rajasthan
New Delhi-based entrepreneur Robert Vadra, married into the country’s most powerful family, has made a quiet and relatively unheralded entry into the real estate business, including a partnership with DLF Ltd, India’s largest realty firm.
Vadra, the son-in-law of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has stayed away from electoral politics, maintaining that he wants to be known as a businessman. In interviews he has said that his focus is on Artex, a small company specialising in jewellery and handicraft exports.
That seems to be changing as 42-year-old Vadra, known for his punishing fitness regime and love for fast bikes, has sought to scale up and diversify his business activities since 2008, acquiring tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel in Delhi, and attempting an entry into the business of chartering aircraft.
Regulatory filings available in the public domain and reviewed by ET reporters reveal the changing graph of Vadra’s business interests. These include wide-ranging transactions with the DLF Group. Several of his companies have received loans, some unsecured, from DLF group companies, including the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed flagship DLF Ltd.
A JOINT VENTURE AND SOME LOANS
Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd, a company wholly owned by Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra, is a partner, along with DLF Hotel Holdings and others, in a partnership firm that owns the business hotel Hilton Garden Inn in the upscale South Delhi business district Saket. The hotel is located within the DLF Place mall, also known as DLF Courtyard.
“The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Saket is a small business hotel. I have interest in hospitality and am happy to be part of the hotel,” Vadra told ET, speaking on the phone from Europe, where he is travelling presently. He said the business association with DLF stemmed from a long-standing friendship with the family that controls the realty giant.
“I have known the DLF people for a long time and they are friends of mine. I had wanted to invest in real estate and one thing led to another. Right now, I can only be part of a small hotel. If I were taking favours from people I would be doing far bigger things. But I am doing this on my own. I can’t expand immediately but I hope to expand a few years down the line,” he added. DLF has Given Loans to Vadra’s Companies
DLF has also extended loans to various companies owned by Vadra. Some of these are unsecured loans or debt without any collateral.
As on March 2009, Sky Light Hospitality had received unsecured loans amounting to . 25 crore from DLF Ltd. As on March 2010, only . 10 crore remained. It’s unclear from the statement of accounts if the rest was paid back or written off. Sky Light Hospitality has, in turn, loaned money to other Vadraowned companies such as Blue Breeze Trading Pvt Ltd, North India IT Parks Pvt Ltd, Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd and Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd. Blue Breeze Trading, a company incorporated in 2007 with Vadra and his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as first directors and equal shareholders, is in the business of chartering aircraft. The company, however, seems to have done little business, apart from acquiring agricultural land. Priyanka Gandhi ceased to be a director as on July 2008. She is no longer a shareholder. Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd also had a . 5 crore loan directly from DLF on its books as on March 2010. The joint venture firm Saket Courtyard Hospitality had received . 3.58 crore of unsecured loans from DLF Hotel Holdings Ltd, the group company that owned 50% stake in the JV.
“The business relationship of DLF Group with Robert Vadra has been in his capacity as an individual entrepreneur and on a completely transparent and armslength basis. DLF has always respected and complied with Mr Vadra’s explicit directions and wish to not utilise his name or association in any manner whatsoever. The business relationship has been conducted to the highest standards of ethics and transparency,” a DLF spokesman said in a statement. The company said it intended to respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by ET on March 9. At the time of going to press, no response was received.
LAND IN TIER-3 TOWN
Vadra’s companies have also been acquiring tracts of land in recent years. Sky Light Hospitality acquired 5 bighas in Sohna, Haryana, for . 7.9 crore during the first year of operation 2007-08. In 2008-09, the company’s fixed assets included land acquired in Manesar for . 15.3 crore and by the next fiscal, the company also had bought land in Bikaner for . 79 lakh. The acreage of land is unknown.
Vadra’s company, North India IT Parks, has been the most prolific ac-quirer of land. During 2009-10, the company acquired 160.62 acres (including 85.62 acres of agricultural land) in Bikaner for . 1.02 crore. Another Vadra-owned firm, Real Earth Estates, acquired varying quantities (undisclosed) of land in Hayatpur, Bikaner, Hassanpur, Mewat and New Delhi’s pricey Greater Kailash (Part II) neighbourhood, during 2009-10. The company paid a total of . 7 crore
Sky Light Realty has bought an undisclosed amount of agricultural land in Palwal, Haryana, and Bikaner, Rajasthan, which collectively cost the company . 89 lakh. The company also has land in Hayatpur, Haryana, which cost . 1 crore. The company has also paid . 5.2 crore to DLF for buying seven flats at DLF’s Magnolia apartment complex in Gurgaon. Another . 5 crore has been spent on flats at the Capital Green complex owned by DLF Estates Pvt Ltd. This might be related to a ‘Booking of Flats’ business under a joint venture between Sky Light Realty and Sky Light Hospitality, both Vadra-owned companies. Vadra said he could explain the details of these transactions after he returns and reviews the documents on which this newspaper has based its questions. However, he said buying up land in tier-3 cities was part of a deliberate strategy akin to value investing. “I’ve been investing in real estate every time I make money from my other businesses. I make investments in tier-3 towns because it is cheaper to invest there. I usually liquidate my real estate assets whenever I can, but I have no intention to develop. I invest like anyone else, in remote areas,” Vadra told ET.
However, at least one of his companies has expressed its intention to enter the construction business. The directors’ report accompa-nying the audited accounts of Real Earth Estates for 2009-10, says: “During the year, the company has purchased land in the state of Haryana and Rajasthan. A plot in Delhi has also been purchased during the year. The company has entered into joint venture ar-rangement with Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd. Very soon the company hopes to enter into the field of construction. Necessary legal for-malities are being completed in this respect.”
There have been murmurs in the past about Vadra’s interest in re-alty. Vadra’s lawyers served a legal notice on the realty firm BPTP Ltd in 2006, alleging the firm has been “intentionally, falsely, and fraudulently claiming that several of their projects were part-owned by Robert Vadra and that he was helping them in their Real Estate Development Business”.
Vadra told ET that BPTP has been exploiting his name. “BPTP has been exploiting my name for a long time. In the past I have served them legal notices as well,” Vadra said. “I’ve been married for 14 years but I keep away from politics. I am still grounded. I am be-cause of my own talent and I have to prove myself. I do not try to benefit from my family. I never take obligations from people because if I do then they will ask me for something bigger in return,” he said.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY
But DLF was different. “I have a good understanding with DLF. Our children are friends, we are friends. They are seasoned businessmen. They are not daft. They are educated, sensible people and are reasonable and shrewd in their business. They don’t need me to enhance them. They’ve existed for years,” he said. DLF, founded in 1946, has enjoyed spectacular commercial success and built much of Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi.
Moradabad-born Vadra, whose mother is Scottish, rose to national prominence when he married Priyanka Gandhi in 1997. Gandhi’s mother, Italy-born Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition, is routinely ranked among the most powerful women in the world. Priyanka’s father Rajiv Gan-dhi, grandmother Indira Gandhi and great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru have been prime ministers of the country. Her brother Rahul Gandhi is widely seen as a future prime minister. Because he is married into the family that has played a central role in the history of independent India, Vadra’s life and activities attract a great deal of interest.
Vadra maintains a small group of friends in Delhi and is known for his interest in fitness, cycling and aviation. He has been forthcom-ing in recent interviews about his fitness regimen, cycling and the motorcycles he own. He is often seen at public ceremonies and state events with Priyanka Gandhi. The couple has two children Raihan and Miraya. “People can imagine all kinds of things about me but people who matter to me know me and know how I am,” Vadra said.
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