At the beginning of December, I was told by a source that Robert Vadra would be targeted for his allegedly 'controversial' land transactions. Curiously enough, the source added, he would not be targeted through the legal route but via media reports wrapped in sly innuendoes and half truths. These reports would appear before the Delhi elections to give the BJP the ammunition it needs to look like an anti-corruption messiah.
While Vadra is being targeted, no one is asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi why he is delaying the selection of the lokpal, the appointment of the heads of the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Information Commission, which provide the strongest institutional framework to tackle corruption.
In the three months before the Haryana elections in October 2014, stories related to Vadra appeared 40 times in the media. Statistically speaking, every third story and debate regurgitated facts and manufactured outrage. The BJP promised the moon and swept the Haryana elections but has little to show for actual deliverables on the issue of corruption.
After the polls, there was another round of silence on Vadra. But now with the Delhi elections round the corner, Vadra is in the news again because some key documents pertaining to a land deal in Haryana, which IAS officer Ashok Khemka sought through an RTI, have gone missing.
The BJP is outraged at the audacity of Haryana's previous government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda. But didn't the Hooda government provide the same documents to an RTI petitioner in June 2014? And, shouldn't the BJP government in Haryana be questioned about the whereabouts of the documents? After 24 hours of prime-time bashing, the documents were recovered. Indeed, a 'ghar-wapsi' of sorts. Much like the Ram mandir issue, the BJP seems to be invoking Vadra before every election.
The BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad conducted a stirring press conference before the general elections on Vadra's "corrupt" deals and claimed that he had evidence in his pocket. But the BJP is yet to act on that evidence.
Curiously, the CBI was approached by a petitioner who filed a PIL in the Delhi high court on this matter. But he was turned away without the body filing a preliminary enquiry report on allegations that the BJP has been peddling for some time now.
The Delhi high court threw out a third PIL on Vadra's deals much like the Supreme Court and Allahabad high court had done earlier after finding that there was no merit in the allegation. The SC also reprimanded the petitioner for making baseless allegations against Vadra merely because he was linked to a political family.
The prime minister also levelled allegations against the Haryana government on Vadra's land deals. The Election Commission, however, termed the allegations to be false. It is another matter that Prasad chose to pass judgment on the wisdom of the EC but was reluctant to act on the evidence he carries in his pocket. Before the election, the BJP government in Rajasthan too had resolved to "unravel the corrupt deals" of Vadra. One year on, it is now clear there is nothing illegal.
The BJP can continue to repeat its mischievous false campaign that it carried out against Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Eventually, just as the truth prevailed in the Bofors case, the truth is evident here as well.
I haven't understood why Vadra, against whom there is no FIR, is being painted as a culprit when the BJP national president, Amit Shah, a murder-accused, is being put on a pedestal.
How long will Vadra have to face this media trial where he can't defend himself?
For God's sake, leave Vadra alone. If the BJP/NDA government has anything against him then it should act on it. But don't punish him for being Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law.
(Digvijaya Singh is a senior Congress leader. The views expressed by the author are personal)