Sunday, April 20, 2014

Robert Vadra

The Gandhi family seems to have an aversion for higher education. The notorious in-law, Robert Vadra, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, did not proceed beyond high school. Quotes from the article are given in italics:

The Wall Street Journal found that during the decade Mr. Vadra's in-laws have held sway in New Delhi, the 44-year-old with a high-school education and no experience in property development amassed a large real-estate portfolio. Based on a review of company filings, land records and interviews with property experts, the Journal calculated that through 2012, Mr. Vadra sold more than $12 million of property, and as of then he still held real estate valued at about $42 million. It isn't clear whether Mr. Vadra's companies have sold any more real estate since then because company filings for the past two years aren't available on government websites.

Of course, we can expect the Congress party to create records that Robert Vadra did study in Harvard or Cambridge.

When Congress, with Sonia Gandhi at the helm, retook power from the BJP in 2004, Mr. Vadra was running a small business exporting inexpensive costume jewelry. In late 2007 he went into the real-estate business, forming a firm called Sky Light Hospitality Private Ltd. with less than $2,000, according to company filings at the Registrar of Companies of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in New Delhi.
Early in 2008, Sky Light bought 3.5 acres of undeveloped land near a highway intersection in the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon for $1.3 million, according to a sales document. Two months later, Mr. Vadra applied to the Congress-controlled state government for a license to convert the land to commercial use from agricultural. Preliminary permission was granted 18 days later, according to the license application and state approval. With that, the land became far more valuable.
Over the next four years, developer DLF Ltd. 532868.BY +1.01% poured millions of dollars into Mr. Vadra's company, reported on its balance sheet as "advances." Then in 2012, DLF said it bought the Gurgaon property from Mr. Vadra's company for a total of $9.7 million, most of which it had advanced in the preceding years. It was more than seven times his reported purchase price.

Mr. Vadra's Sky Light Hospitality did other deals in New Delhi and the nearby states of Haryana and Rajasthan. In 2008-09, it paid $5.3 million for a 50% interest in a hotel being built by DLF in New Delhi, a hotel valued at $33 million in 2012, according to a DLF calculation that year.
Another company controlled by Mr. Vadra, Sky Light Realty, acquired a penthouse apartment—estimated by brokers to now be worth $5 million—in a complex DLF built in Gurgaon called the Aralias.
That same Vadra company reported in its government filings for fiscal 2009 and 2010 that it bought seven apartments in a luxury complex built by DLF for $870,000.
They were worth close to $6 million at the time, real-estate brokers said. India Against Corruption, a grass-roots movement that has spawned an anticorruption political party called the Aam Admi Party, alleged that the transactions amounted to a ploy for DLF to give the Gandhi family property and money to curry favor. Congress party officials have repeatedly denied the allegation. Rahul Gandhi didn't respond to requests for comment, and a person in his office said he was too busy campaigning to respond.
DLF said Mr. Vadra's group actually paid much more than $870,000—it said the actual price was about $166 a square foot, which would add up to about $7 million. Today, the seven apartments are worth more than $16 million, real-estate brokers said.

All these disturbing details are already known to any Indian who cares to read newspapers or watch TV. If Modi, if he becomes PM, decides to overlook such daredevil dishonesty under the guise of not wanting to waste time, people will not only be disappointed but will also start doubting his sincerity.

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