Congress scores a self-goal
When it comes to matters of corruption, Congress can be trusted to have unclean hands. The latest is the list of fugitives and bank defaulters who have escaped from the country prepared by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Sep 15. The party claimed in the press release that as many as 23 persons have escaped from India under Narendra Modi regime and declared that “Modi gave them escape route.” But the list distributed by AICC has only 19 persons. Why did they leave out four? Who are they?
Three are Ahmed Patel related scamsters from Sandesara – Sterling Biotech group, now facing probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probes for cheating an Andhra Bank-led consortium of more than Rs.5000 crores and the ED has already attached their properties worth an equal amount. The ED and CBI are now in touch with Dubai authorities for the extradition of the accused Nitin Sadesara, brother Chetan Sandesara and his wife Dipti Sandesara.
The others accused in the scam have already deposed that they transported many times bags full of cash to Ahmed Patel’s official residence. Ahmed Patel’s son in law Irfan Patel and son Faisal Patel are also named in the money transactions with Sandesara – Sterling Biotech Group owners Nitin and Chetan. A Hawala operator known as Johny has revealed that he transported huge cash bags to Ahmed Patel’s home several times.
Gujarat cadre officer Asthana
CBI’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana was also caught for receiving Rs.3.8 crores from Sterling Biotech in the year 2011 alone when he was Commissioner of Police in Surat. His son Ankush Asthana was also a highly paid staffer in the controversial group based in Baroda and his daughter’s wedding was also held at the Group’s farmhouse. With all these serious charges, Congress always kept silent on this tainted officer. Reason? The payments from Sandesara Group expose that Asthana was close to Ahmed Patel, while also keeping BJP leaders in good humor. There are several officers from the Gujarat cadre that straddle both boats.
Congress is now pretending as if it is fighting corruption tried to cleverly avoid Ahmed Patel linked fugitives from their list. They could have mentioned just 19 instead of 23 instead of letting the cat out of the bag. We are publishing below the list of fugitives released by Congress sans the directly linked fugitives.
Who else is missing from the list of fugitives? Arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, who is so close to Robert Vadra. During interrogation, Bhandari admitted his proximity with Vadra and the emails exchanged between them show that a posh flat in London was Vadra’s benami property held in the name of Bhandari. Now it is out that during UPA tenure, Bhandari was also playing an agent’s role in the now-aborted Rafale deal that UPA had negotiated. During the UPA tenure, Sanjay Bhandari was acting as the benami operator of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in several arms purchases,.
PGurus reported Sanjay Bhandari’s close association with Hindustan Times’ Executive Editor Shishir Gupta. The Call Detail Records shows that Shishir Gupta had contacted Bhandari 478 times. After this was exposed, Shishir Gupta canceled his Twitter account and within a few weeks, Sanjay Bhandari fled the country via Nepal.
The moral of the story is that it would have been better for Congress to not have spoken about matters related to corruption.
Below is the AICC’s selective list of fugitives and bank defaulters released on Sept 15, 2018 avoiding Ahmed Patel and Robert Vadra’s people:
 The rise and fall of arms consultant Sanjay Bhandari over alleged property links with Robert Vadra – Jun 2, 2016, The Economic Times
 Why is MSM silent over involvement of Shishir Gupta of Hindustan Times with arms dealer Bhandari? Jun 2, 2016, PGurus.com