Just as the dust surrounding the Agusta Westland case over alleged kickbacks in purchase of helicopters seemed to have settled, a new story in the area of defence deals and kickbacks has returned, giving a fresh lease of life to allegations and counter allegations between the two major national parties of the country.
Sanjay Bhandari, a defence dealer with links with Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law reportedly is also close to BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh and is now being seen as the guy at the heart of this latest controversy.
Reportedly, a probe by the Income Tax department into the transactions of arms dealer has allegedly shown that he was close to Vadra and even resided in a flat in London owned by Vadra himself.
The middleman Bhandari is reported to have received a sum of 34 crores from arms manufacturer PILATUS in year 2010. Investigators are now probing whether this money was meant to influence the purchase of arms from the Indian government.
On the other hand, Sidharth Nath Singh who is the BJP spokesperson and one of the prominent faces from the party’s West Bengal unit named by Congress leader Shahzad Poonawala of being close to Bhandari has reportedly received at least 450 phone calls from him.
Bhandari has also been in touch with Civil Aviation minister Gajapati Raju and even met him at least 4 times during which Raju even invited him to the Bangalore Air Show.
Apart from Singh and Raju, Bhandari is also said to be close to current secretary to the Department of North Eastern Region, Rajiv Takru. Takru had reportedly claimed to be Bhandari's relative.