How Sonia’s son-in-law Robert may have struck gold on the property market in arid Bikaner

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

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

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.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra. He may have pocketed Rs 100 crore through his land dealings in Gajner

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.He may have pocketed Rs 100 crore through his land dealings in Gajner

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.

“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.

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

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

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

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 not known whether Vadra had prior information about the government’s plans for industrial development in Gajner or had a strong intuition about them.

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

The land value 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 appears to have profited.

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 `13 lakh to Rs 13.5 lakh per acre.The land revenue records and kolaybet 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, kolaybet 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 kolaybet 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.

The Prime Property

Details of land sold by his firms