A Congress leader from Goa has offered apologies on “behalf” of his party for Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra snapping at a TV reporter after being questioned over land deals.
Congress organising secretary Durgadas Kamat said Sunday night that since no party leader has apologized for Vadra’s reaction to a TV reporter and ordering his Special Protection Group guards to delete the footage of the incident, he had taken to Twitter to say sorry.
“I apologise for whatever has happened. Let’s put the matter to rest. Cannot see the party’s image going for a toss,” Kamat said, even as other Congress leaders have defended Vadra’s reaction and criticised the media for encroaching on his personal space.
A couple of weeks back, Kamat has been replaced as a Goa Congress spokesperson by newly appointed state president Luizinho Faleiro. Kamat has also been issued a show cause notice subsequently by the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee for making public comments after the party’s rout in Maharashtra and Haryana assembly polls denouncing family raj.
On Saturday, Vadra snapped at a TV reporter when he was asked about his controversial land deals in Haryana.
Vadra thrice asked the reporter “Are you serious?” and once “Are you nuts?” before pushing away the journalist’s microphone and calling him an “idiot”. He then walked away followed by his guards.
The BJP and the AAP has lashed out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, a day after Vadra snapped at a TV crew while questioned over his controversial land deals in Haryana.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denounced Vadra and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the Gandhi family of “arrogance”.
Sonia Gandhi on Sunday visited her daughter Priyanka and son-in-law’s residence, as the Congress came to the defence of Vadra, who the party otherwise said was a private citizen.
Congress sources said Gandhi spent nearly half an hour at the Lodhi Estate residence, but what they may have discussed was not known.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said action will be taken if a complaint is registered with the ministry.
“We will take action if a complaint is filed. The media should be allowed to do its work,” Javadekar said.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said: “It was the sheer frustration of Robert Vadra that became manifested as inappropriate behaviour against a journalist.
“Vadra was the one who had called India a ‘Banana Republic’ and we Indians as ‘mango people’. It is time we make him realise that India is no more a Banana Republic which was ruled by the first family of the Congress.”
Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala chided the journalist for not giving “personal space and liberty” to a person “neither in public nor (holding) any public office”.
“Unpleasantness of repeatedly asking questions at private functions, like what happened with Robert Vadra, must be avoided at all times,” he said.
Surjewala said that on numerous occasions, “fringe elements affiliated to the BJP-RSS-Shiv Sena have attacked news media offices in Delhi and Mumbai without any reason or provocation”.
Another BJP leader, Shahnawaz Hussain, said Vadra was not a private person.
“He considers himself to be a very special person. According to (Congress leader) Digvijaya Singh, he is a private person. But his behaviour does not show that he is a private person,” Hussain said.
AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said Vadra’s snapping at the journalist showed the Gandhi family’s “arrogance was intact” and “they needed to be taught more lessons”.
The new BJP government in Haryana has announced that Vadra’s land deals will be probed.
(With inputs from IANS)