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Updated: August 27, 2013 16:01 IST

‘Robert Vadra is a small farmer’

Chander Suta Dogra
Comment (58)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Bhupinder Singh Hooda
AKHILESH KUMAR Bhupinder Singh Hooda

The Haryana Chief Minister says there is nothing illegal about the land transactions involving the Congress president’s son-in-law

Like most senior Congress leaders, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda too has avoided commenting on the sharp questions raised by IAS officer Ashok Khemka about the Robert Vadra-DLF land deal and the issuance of land development licences in his State. Speaking for the first time on the controversy that broke out after The Hindu reported excerpts from Mr. Khemka’s 100-page submission to the government, a combative Mr. Hooda, with several bureaucrats by his side, answers some of the charges.

Following the uproar over Ashok Khemka’s 100-page submission to your government on the Robert Vadra-DLF deal and other concerns relating to the issuance of colony licences, questions have been raised about the manner in which such licences are issued in Haryana. They are seen as favours to political cronies.

It is the policy of our government to give licences to farmers to develop their land and not just restrict it to a handful of big builders. This was done because it was felt that the small farmer is being denied the benefit of rapid urban development taking place in the State. So, if a farmer collaborates with a developer (as Robert Vadra did with DLF), he can sell his licence along with the land and reap the benefit.

Are you saying that Mr. Vadra is a poor small farmer in Haryana?

He is a landowner. If he owns land designated as an agricultural zone, then he is a farmer. This uproar (over 3.53 acres) is only because he is the son-in-law of the Congress president. Thirty-five to 40 per cent of our licences are given to such small farmers who enter into collaboration agreements with developers. It is not illegal.

Not only opposition parties, but a senior Congress MP, Rao Inderjeet Singh from Haryana, has also demanded an investigation into licensing of 21,000 acres of land for various uses by your government in the past eight years, including the 3.53 acres that was part of the Vadra-DLF deal.

Rao Inderjit Singh has himself collaborated with Unitech and got a colony licence for 83 acres of his land in Gurgaon. Part of it is his ancestral land and part has been bought later. If someone with 83 acres can get the benefit of a licence then why should a small farmer with two or three acres not get it? He has as much right to get a licence. My question is, why should a poor man be denied a licence? When Inderjit gets a licence for his own land, then the policy is correct. When Robert Vadra gets it, then he says it is wrong. Why?

There is a demand for an independent investigation into the whole gamut of issues raised by Mr. Khemka. Why is your government shying away from an investigation?

An investigation for what? We have no complaint from anyone that Mr. Vadra has done anything wrong in Haryana. We have enquired into the two aspects of the deal that concern our government. These are, whether Mr. Vadra has paid the full stamp duty on the sale and whether the licence fee has been paid by his company. On both these counts he is clear. The rest is a matter between two private parties and the government has nothing to do with it.

Mr. Khemka’s specific charge is that Mr. Vadra falsified documents and entered into sham transactions to earn money from his land licence.

Who has charged? Which are the false documents? There are no false documents filed by Mr. Vadra. Corporation Bank has never said that it is not their cheque. It could be called ‘false’ if it was forged or counterfeit. That cheque [mentioned in the sale deed between M/s Onkareshwar properties and M/s Skylight Hospitality] was never presented or dishonoured.

As for what money DLF paid to Mr. Vadra for the licensed land, DLF should have come and defended itself. I am not sure why they are not doing it.

Mr. Khemka has also alleged that the government committee did not enquire into many other issues referred to it, such as misappropriation of panchayat land by misusing the Consolidation Act.

That is not true. Everything has been enquired into by the Committee. I have not read its report, but I think it is alright. No colony or commercial licence or change of land use by my government has been cancelled by any court. That itself is indication that there is no wrongdoing.

There is nothing new in Mr Khemka’s allegation. Everything has been clarified by our Committee. He is making an issue out of a non-issue.

If Mr. Khemka, as you say, has made false allegations against your government, will you take action against him for doing so?

The Chief Secretary is looking into that and has probably asked him for comments. It is for him to take action. I am never in a hurry to take action against anyone. Everything has a time. I am not a biased person, but will not spare whoever is at fault.

The media has raised questions on allegations made by Mr. Khemka about the Vadra-DLF deal, and yet you say that nothing is wrong or worth ordering an independent investigation?

The media is sensationalising the issue for TRPs. Mr. Vadra is a decent man. He could have filed defamation cases against anyone. He is only being maligned for being the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi.

chander.dogra@thehindu.co.in

Maybe what India needs is Army rule.. There are no politicians who are
going to do any good to this country..

from:  Pradip
Posted on: Aug 29, 2013 at 01:11 IST

So now what? Give him all the subsidies a poor farmer should get.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 20:05 IST

Never seen a Chief Minister defend a poor farmer!

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 19:53 IST

Robert Vadra a small farmer!!! I think this interview is in the humor section.

from:  Arun Murthy
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 17:15 IST

I think Ahluwalia should sue Hooda for saying Robert Vadra as poor. Because planning commission has said a common man needs Rs.30 only and anybody who earns less than Rs.30 is poor. But Vadra had 1 lac asset (now 60 crore), so he is not poor!!

from:  marudah
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 15:22 IST

Yes in comparison to Mr OP Chautala, Prakash Singh Badal & many like them, Robert Vadhara is a small farmer.They have enjoyed free electricity for years & subsidy on fertilizers, seeds, crops etc while in their farm houses the supply of electricity was 24 hours but only there was shortage in other parts & other farmers were not eligible for subsidy because they are bigger farmers having 5 acres or more but beyond 100 acres they become small once again.

from:  Hardev Singh
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 11:42 IST

What should we call it? Third Green Revolution. I wonder why didn't Dr.
M. S. Swaminathan talk to Mr. Hooda to give some policy options to make
small and marginal farming viable. NSSO survey says small and marginal
farming has become nonviable in India - the panacea is "Hooda Small
Farmer Policy".

from:  Narender Yadav
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 09:58 IST

If this is the defination of a SMALL FARMER then i would pray to god that all the farmers of this country become SMALL FARMER.

from:  narendra
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 09:37 IST

Are we living in a democratic country? Is our system is not biased? How Mr. Vadra can be a poor farmer, when many poor farmers are committing suicide due to lack of government support and a poor farmer who is "DECENT" too according to Mr. Hooda got 3.53 acres of land. Will Mr. Hooda be able to provide this much of land to all DECENT farmers of country irrespective of their family background????

from:  bhupender singh
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 08:30 IST

If like many other small farmers Robert Vadra also commits suicide, Ashok Khemka will have to be blamed for driving him to it.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 05:30 IST

In my village “small farmers” hardly manage to cultivate their crops in
the entire year and have to survive whatever they gain from the
cultivation. Is Vadra the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi is also suffering
through the same order?

from:  Rajendra Balekundri
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 00:48 IST

How small? 2 inch or one inch small?

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Aug 28, 2013 at 00:04 IST

It is a shame that we citizens have to listen to such illogical explanations and that too coming from a CM of a State. God save us from all evils.

from:  Partha
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 22:41 IST

Only the Supreme Court can put the fear of God into people like
Mr.Hooda. It is the rare politician in India today who has any
sense of shame and duty to country. The vast majority have the
selfish interests of themselves and their party at heart, the
country be damned!

Every institution in the country has been rendered impotent by
the machinations of unscrupulous politicians and bureaucrats. The
Supreme court, the CAG and the Armed Forces still stand proud and
should be counted upon to save the nation.

from:  CS Venkat
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 21:59 IST

If the owner was Robert Vadra's company, how can it become a farmer?

from:  R Sathyamurthy
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 20:59 IST

Shame where is thy blush!

from:  Toatte
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 20:33 IST

Although , I didn't read the full interview. But we can guess what he
said. As an indian i am amazed that Mr. Huda designated him as Small
Farmer. If Vadra is a small farmer, then we have to change the
definition of farmers.
Only one question appear in my mind:- why congress is always been
defending Mr. Vadra. All of congressmen everytime same words "he is
innocent and clear ". Why they have to answer about him, They can
simply say that we have no connections with Mr. Vadra.

But We All know The TRUTH. GOD SAVE INDIA

from:  Sunny Adak
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 20:31 IST

We are only 90% fools now If we allow Congress (irrespective of the fact
that BJP is still to reach that condition)to rule another term then why
Mr.Markandey Katju? We ourselves can say that "We Indians are 100%
fools"

from:  SPR
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 20:25 IST

There is a saying in American politics: Sir it looks like a duck, it
quacks like a duck then why don't you call it a duck. No matter how much
you try to argue with Hooda that there is wrongdoing on Mr Vadra's part,
he is not ready to listen. It is probably the people of Haryana to blame
who vote such person to power. As long as people are willing to put up
with Hooda and Vadra, they will have it. It is all monkey buisness.

from:  Sandeep
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 20:13 IST

Being a poor farmer (as identified by Mr Hooda), Shouldn't Vadra be
provided with a BPL card so that he may not starve to death?

from:  dipendutta
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 18:12 IST

Congress Comedians/Gymnasts who have no spine

from:  Om Prakash Sharma
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 18:07 IST

How does Hooda know that vadra is 'Decent' man? and what is the meaning
of this decency?

from:  Meghshyam
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 17:31 IST

Why should a farmer collaborate with a builder to develop colony? And why should the Govt give the license to the farmer to build colonies. Is he supposed to be farmer or real estate man?

Building colonies is not the work of a farmer Mr. Hooda. Will you/UPA, on the same lines, give the mining licenses to the farmers in Orissa, Bihar, Jharkand, AP, Karnataka and ask them to enter into an agreement with mining companies??

May be after the son-in-law of the first family , the so called poor farmer buys land in those places, the UPA will implement such novel schemes.

Who on earth in this Govt is to look after the benami dealings and misappropriation of funds? Is there any agency for that?? The question to ask before that is - Is there a Govt in place in this country??

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 17:27 IST

can Hooda mention at least one such small farmer other than the poor little vadra

from:  raviraj
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 17:25 IST

Ohh even if its not spoken directly by mr.hooda but I feel shame because I belong to a farmer's family and its even tough to have 2 times meal whole year

from:  Tarun Jain
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 17:13 IST

Even though Mr Hooda is clearly lying through his teeth on favoritism
shown to Robert Vadra and trying to avoid any sort of enquiry, what he
says is not incorrect in letter.

Haryana, and especially Gurgaon, is full of such 'small farmers' who
have got licences to convert land use and are crorepatis. Technically,
they are considered so poor that they cannot afford housing in the
apartments built on their land and are given free apartments/plots. In
reality however, these people live in mansions, own multiple
properties worth crores, maintain multiple SUVs, and have nothing to
do. They go into politics and extortion. Rao Inderjeet Singh is no
different.

It is typical of India that protection laws are formulated by and for
the creamy layer and leave majority of deserving candidates no way to
benefit. The laws in this case are no different. Vadra did no wrong.
The politician-builder mafia which favored him for its own ends did
wrong. Best of luck proving it though!

from:  Tom
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 17:07 IST

Mr. Sajan for your reference.

"Are you saying that Mr. Vadra is a poor small farmer in Haryana?
He is a landowner. If he owns land designated as an agricultural zone,
then he is a farmer....Thirty-five to 40 per cent of our licences are
given to such small farmers who enter into collaboration agreements with
developers. It is not illegal."

from:  Roy
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 16:44 IST

'Mango man' wonders why a 'small farmer' needs so much.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 16:39 IST

Aren't the media and the opposition parties unfairly going after a
poor farmer son-in-law of a woman who is using whatever political
power she has to see that no one in the country goes to bed on an
empty stomach? Did I hear someone asking:how about the other mega
scams tainting the government which she helps Dr.Manmohan Singh to run
and the possibility of a galloping fiscal deficit? Well,don't we have
to believe Digvijay Singh, Salman Kurshid, Manish Tiwari and others
who tell us that these scams and possible rising fiscal deficits are
figments of our imagination?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 16:26 IST

Vadra is a poor farmer. Accepted. How about issuing a BPL card or does he already have
one. Please see that he gets one early

from:  Samir
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 16:07 IST

The CM is making a mockery by lending a farmer stamp to vadra. News of farm suicides keep mounting every year. Better the british had ruled us. Everything happens here is shameful.

from:  vaishnavadevi
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 14:50 IST

the haryana cm mr.hoodas interview about robert vadra being a small farmer is hilarious.its a comedy of errors.why doesnt mr.hooda help all the small farmers in haryana to rake in as much moola as robert vadra.he will be hailed as a pro farmer cm.

from:  srinivasan mahalingam
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 14:41 IST

Even if congress do something wrong but certainly they know the culture of manipulating things in their favor by using jugglery of words as done by Mr. Hooda in favor of Mr. Vadra by calling him small farmer.

from:  Pankaj Sahgal
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 14:40 IST

so i feel much delighted when i think that i live in a country whose
farmers are capable of doing transactions amounting to Crores of Rupees
and that too POOR FARMERS. what you think Hooda that WE common people of
India are fool and only you have mind, We can't understand your dirty
and bloody politics............ SHAME on you.......

from:  SAURABH RAJPUT
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 14:33 IST

Smallest Farmer with the largest farmland at the cheapest price

from:  Radhesh R
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 14:18 IST

He is a POOR farmer. FORTUNATELY what ever (lands) he buys/deal he enters he only finds GOLD & DIAMONDS. No Soil, water, air, etc. Poor farmer (his income is less than Rs 32 per day) has nothing to eat just living on subsidized food supply of tax payers.

from:  Srikanth
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 14:02 IST

Mr. hooda. Yes, Vadra is a poor farmer with BMWs, Harleys, Planes and daughter of Sonia Gandhi as his wife. He is being targeted by media for TRP. Rest of us Indians are all rich and wealthy and that y your govt gives us food for 1 rs.

poor Mr. Vadra. We should be ashamed of traumatising the poor fellow. I think since govt is so concerned with farmers, thats y they have put Vadra's name in the list of role holders to not be checked while boarding a flight. See how much your govt cares for poor farmers. We are ashamed. You have opened our eyes.

from:  Atul
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 13:58 IST

May god make all "small farmers" of India like him.

from:  Gyanendra
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 13:50 IST

Yes Mr. Robert Vadra very poor and deprived farmer. I think UPA government should nominate him as the first beneficiaries of Food Security Bill.

from:  Asha
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 13:22 IST

According to Hooda Vadra is a poor farmer. Yes he is very much correct according to Congress if any body cheats people and earns in crores are poors only. what a shameless statement given by Hooda?

from:  s.sasikumar
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 13:14 IST

Robert Vadra is a small farmer/

A billionarie's son attending primary school was given an assignment by the teacher to write s short story about a poor man. The kid after thiking deep for quite long, started penning - 'Once there was a poor man. He had only one farm house and a cadillac'.

Small farmers have only Rs.60 crores as assets.. real sob story

from:  era murukan
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 13:13 IST

Yet another dishonest trick ! India, keep counting, don't forget and pay back with
compounding effects, when the time comes!

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 13:12 IST

Haha...This is hilarious !! why we even care to take these interviews
and publish it. These people are illiterate and they know that
nobody can do anything about it whatever they say is the law and
whatever they do is right.
I think India will see a mass migration in next few years. Even Mahatma
Gandhi would have migrated after seeing this.

from:  Dilip
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 12:57 IST

The interview with Hooda reminds me of the Indira Gandhi days during
emergency. Every minister was trying to bend backwards as much to please
her. In the process they tried to justify whatever Sanjay Gandhi did. It
is repeat performance now, with Vadra taking the role of Snajay Gandhi.
Days are not too far away for people like Hooda to answer public for all
the wrongdoings they are justifying now with valor!

from:  SARANATHAN
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 12:53 IST

The beauty of India is this small farmer in a suit can afford to play golf, drive an SUV,
get SPG cover, dine in the best restaurants and call India a Banana Republic! Can I also
become a small farmer like Mr Vadra?

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 12:51 IST

This is just too funny. Its so comical i am not sure if this was meant
for the op-ed page.

from:  Poornima
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 12:29 IST

It was Winston Churchill who made the following commentary on the Indian politicians during independence time and it stands true even today! "Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles". Was it an observation or a foretelling of the future!? The subcontinent is suffering from a disease called 'lack of morality'! If not endemically controlled this will devour the whole nation and it's progress in every aspect of human existence.

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 12:26 IST

Reading this rubbish and lies from Hooda it evokes only few words in my mind which, for reasons of propriety and demeanor, i cannot put here in comments or my comments will be shot down by the moderator.
Politicians have broken all bounds of shame and theft. Even when everyone knows that there is malice and wrong-doing they come to justify this in open. We do not need these people in India. They can bless our enemy nations with their path breaking logic, that way we wo'nt need military arsenal.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 12:12 IST

With 3 years passed he made is asset grow from 1 Lakh to just only 60 Crores.. this itself is a proof that he is a poor farmer...

from:  Rajapandi
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 10:35 IST

All honourable men! Hooda the CM. Vadra the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi. Is this the issue? Will Hooda clear any other "small farmer" under a cloud, in the same manner? In any case, in his argument, it would be interesting to find out just how many small farmers have benefited and if they have benefited in the same proportion as Vadra.

There is a larger issue here, that is at the core of real estate price escalating beyond affordability of most Indians. Analysis by experts have pointed out that the nexus between builders, politicians and government collude in a manner that land becomes a scarce commodity and the outcome of discretionary "approvals/licenses" is to raise land prices astronomically. Can we change this?

from:  varadarajan raman
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 10:06 IST

That's it. It is all a doing of the media for the sake of TRP only and Mr. Vadra is after all just a poor farmer holding a few acres. How many poor farmers are able to make crores of rupees with an investment of just a lakh of rupees and that too in a matter of a couple of years ? Poor farmers commit suicide all over the country. The state can dismiss accusations made by its own officers with just a wave of its hand if it so desires and especially if involved parties are as powerful as Vadra. It does equally make life very miserable too for common men and women with its cold heart. Your reporter could have asked more probing follow-up questions when the CM claimed that Rao Inderjit Singh also converted the land or when he asked 'investigation into what' or when he said that 'nobody has complained or made out any charges' etc. It is so strange that Vadra himself, the main accused, has not come forward to defend himself while all the defence has sprouted from everyone else in the INC.

from:  S.Sridharan
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 09:50 IST

If Robert Vadra Is A Small Farmer Who Are The Big Farmers In Congress !!

from:  sushilpershad
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 09:35 IST

Yes, Mr. Vadra is a poor (small) farmer in Haryana and Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda is a (small) Panchayat President. I think Mr.Markandey Katju was 100% correct with his 90% remark recently. :-)

from:  i.p.haresh
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 09:17 IST

This was hilarious reading. The attitude of the politicians is
sickening. We have hopes on the democratic set up and the common
people.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 08:51 IST

Mr. Vadra may hold all kinds of SC, ST, OBC, MBC and all other
certificates to avail all benefits as he is son in law of Mrs
Gandhi.

from:  raghavan
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 07:42 IST

Mr Vadra is probably truly a farmer who is also a Real Estate baron and
has a few companies and Probably he struck gold while working on his
farm a few years ago.

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 04:20 IST

Read the question and answers carefully. Where does Mr. Hooda say that Mr. Vadra is a small farmer? The headline is misleading and putting words in someone else's mouth.

from:  Shajan
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 02:43 IST

Mr. Robert Vadra has designated as farmer who has property worth hundreds of crores (Land in different states, luxurious flats in metros, owner of many companies), by Haryana CM. This is the perfect example of crony capitalism.

from:  Sudhir
Posted on: Aug 27, 2013 at 01:16 IST
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