Stroke of luck or business sense? Robert Vadra strikes gold through land deals in Bikaner

SoniaG PEP’s son-in-law Vadra buys Bikaner land adjacent to industrial area proposed by Rajasthan Govt. Pockets Rs. 100 crore – India Today

NOTE: PEP (Politically Exposed Person) in intl. financial transactions.
SUDHANSHU MISHRA  | Jaipur, October 20, 2012 | 03:47
Vadra may have pocketed Rs 100 crore through his land dealings in Gajner.
Vadra may have pocketed Rs 100 crore through his land dealings in Gajner.

Call it a huge stroke of luck or a keen sense of business acumen, Robert Vadra struck gold through sale and purchase of land in the parched deserts of BikanerRajasthan .

In the process, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law is said to have pocketed a cool Rs 100 crore.

This land, currently meant for a solar power project, belonged to Vadra.
This land, currently meant for a solar power project, belonged to Vadra.

What is significant about Vadra’s land dealings in Bikaner is that he was among the first to buy property there when Bikaner’s Gajner town of Kolayat tehsil was hardly seen as an investment destination because of its aridness and lack of infrastructure.

It all started in December 2008, when Ashok Gehlot ousted the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje in the assembly elections and came to power in the desert state.

Soon after, Vadra went on a land buying spree through six of his companies, M/s Blue Breeze Trading Pvt Ltd, Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd, Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd, Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd, North India IT Park Pvt Ltd and Lambodar Art Enterprises Pvt Ltd.

Between 2009 and 2011, Vadra had acquired 733.18 acres, spread across 32 plots, in Gajner, 30 km from Bikaner, the district headquarters.

Then earlier this year, between February and May, Vadra sold almost all of it, making a huge profit.

When contacted, renowned Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi, who counts Vadra as a client, said he did not have the necessary information to comment on the issue.

A jamabandi paper shows the
A jamabandi paper shows the ‘landowner’s name’ as ‘M/s Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd, 268 Sukhdev Vihar’.

“It’s any citizen’s right to acquire property and dispose it off,” Tulsi said, adding that he was not speaking on Vadra’s behalf as far as the Rajasthan property was concerned. “This matter doesn’t deserve any attention without more (information),” he added.

What is of significance in the land dealings is that Vadra went on a land buying spree in Gajner, the same place where the Gehlot government proposed to develop an industrial area.

It is unclear if Vadra had prior information about the government’s plans for industrial development in Gajner or had a strong intuition about them.

But as Vadra’s land was adjacent to the proposed industrial area of the Rajasthan Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Ltd (RIICO), the worth of Vadra’s land shot up.

A grid substation installed by the Rajasthan government recently for its industrial area.
A grid substation installed by the Rajasthan government recently for its industrial area.

The land cost escalated further after the Rajasthan government installed a 320 KV grid substation recently for the industrial area.

So when Vadra sold his property earlier this year, he made a huge killing. According to BJP MLA of Kolayat Devi Singh Bhati, Vadra must have made at least Rs 100 crore as the prevailing market rate at that time was Rs 13 lakh to Rs 13.5 lakh per acre.

The land revenue records and jamabandi papers (records of rights), the copies of which are with Mail Today, show that of the 733.18 acres, Vadra has kept only 11.83 acres.

The jamabandi records of the revenue department reveal that Vadra sold his land to VCB Trading Pvt Ltd, Fonroche Saras Energy Pvt Ltd, Fonroche Rajhans Energy Pvt Ltd, Sanchiya Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Elegance Finlease Pvt Ltd and BS Trade Invest Pvt Ltd.

Fonroche Saras and Fonroche Rajhans have already finalised financial closure for their respective solar power projects in the proposed industrial area, sources said. Vadra has sold only one piece of land – 8.02 acres – to a private party, one Rishipal of Mewat in Haryana.

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