New Delhi: Businessman and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra lost his cool at an event in Delhi on Saturday when a reporter asked him about his alleged involvement in land scams in Haryana. Instead of merely refusing to answer the question, Robert Vadra got angry and pushed the reporter's mic away from him and walked away.
"Are you serious? Are you serious? Are you nuts? What is wrong with you," Vadra kept asking repeatedly, as he lost his temper and stared into the eyes of the reporter and shoved the microphone away. Vadra and his security officers were also heard threatening the video journalist to turn the camera off.
The Congress, in its regular fashion, came to Vadra's rescue this time around too, and in turn questioned the media's role. "I don't know what happened. I have not seen the clip. It's a gross violation from both sides. Nothing justifies the behavior but media should also behave properly. Why should journalists ask idiotic questions on the basis of merely allegations which are not proven in court. Media makes allegations without substance," Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary said.
In an interview with CNN-IBN, ANI Editor-in-chief Smita Prakash said that an enraged Vadra had asked his security guard to ensure that the video clip was deleted immediately. "Our reporter was pressured to delete the clip. That is when we entered the scene and refused to delete it," Smita added.
With severe criticism being levelled over the incident, Vadra's office was forced to issue a clarification. "It was a private event and media was not to be there and he thought it's the private internal photographer asking him questions. He never knew it was ANI," his office said.
The incident has received a lot of scrutiny and criticism from various quarters. "This is deplorable and very unfortunate. I condemn such a behaviour be it coming from anyone. I have no words to disassociate myself," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said.
On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Shaina NC congratulated the media for exhibiting guts to have asked such a question whose answer the public wanted to know. "Our public is very perceptive and the media has shown great zeal when it comes to doing its job," she added.
Robert Vadra has been accused of taking an interest-free loan of Rs 65 crores and heavy bargains on land from DLF Limited in exchange for political favors. In response to the accusation, DLF had responded saying that it had dealt with Vadra as a private entrepreneur and that the loan was Business Advance which was given to make payments for land purchased from Vadra.