Opposition holds up Parliament over Robert Vadra land deals

The opposition, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, forced the adjournment of both houses of Parliament on Tuesday without transacting any business over an allegedly corrupt land deal involving Congress president and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.

The Congress meanwhile sought to wash its hands of Vadra's controversial deals, saying it is a matter for the law enforcement agencies.

Sonia Gandhi was present in Lok Sabha when BJP members trooped into the well carrying a placard which said "Finance Minister, adopt the formula of son-in-law; earn sitting at home and reduce losses", a reference to the allegation that Vadra, helped by the Congress government in Rajasthan and with no investment of his own, acquired land much beyond the prescribed ceiling and sold it off at a hefty premium.

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha saw two adjournments till afternoon before proceedings were suspended for the day. The plight of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka and Italy not returning its under-trial marines and other matters were raised, but the Vadra issue was the one that rocked both Houses.

Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal made a futile attempt twice in the Lok Sabha to reply to the debate for passage of the Railway Budget.

Congress responded to the attack by arguing that Vadra was a private individual and that Parliament had no need to discuss his business. "The state government and law enforcement agencies will look into it. He is not a politician," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said.