A lot has been said and written in the media about the son-in-law to India`s most famous political family. Settling the dust of controversies surrounding him, Priyanka Gandhi’s husband and the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra spoke about Priyanka, his political ambitions, his family business and much more in an exclusive interview with Zeenews.com`s Swati Chaturvedi on her chat show Kahiye Janab.
Swati : Considering your trait of giving 100 percent to what you do, what would you say about reports of you joining politics?
Vadra: I have been asked this question several times in the last few years. My wife’s family is into politics and it has been 15 years now that I have been campaigning in Amethi, Raebareli and several other places. I meet with so many people and my way is different. I am friendly with them. I don’t believe in delivering lectures. I listen to their grievances and make sure that I convey it to my family. I am not there for myself, but for my mother-in-law and Rahul. I get a lot of respect from people, some of whom are very senior to me, which is when I start thinking that I can do it.
Swati : Did you ever give a statement saying that the current time belongs to Rahul Gandhi which will be followed by Priyanka’s and then yours?
Vadra: I don’t wear a political mask when I meet people. I meet them like a common man which at times shocks them. The masses take some time to believe that I listen to their grievances as a common man. I definitely believe that the current time belongs to Rahul Gandhi. Throughout his life he has been determined to bring changes in Uttar Pradesh, entire country and for the people.
Swati : People talk a lot about your business. It is said that you were once a small businessman who is now a billionaire. It is true?
Vadra: Of course not. I have been doing my ancestral business in my own way as I did not like the idea of being behind a table. When I generate revenue, I invest it in real estate or approach a bank for investment purpose. But this doesn’t mean that I am a millionaire. It is preconceived that anybody who joins politics does so that with a wrong intention. No matter how much I am pushed, I want to join politics at the right time for the right cause.
Swati : Your two children accompanied you during the campaign this year which was also criticized. What do you have to say on dynasty politics?
Vadra: The children should not just watch their grandmother, maternal holding election campaigns on television. They should also visit the places and see the changes they have brought there. They have to be taught about India, not just the cities, but the villages as well.
Swati : With so much being said and written about you joining politics already, did you fear the repercussions that will follow once you actually enter politics?
Vadra: It has been 10 years that the people have been interested to know whether I would be joining politics. I will join politics with my family’s consent. And once I do, I will remain unfazed by the pressure of the media and the people.
Swati : Every other year, there is a new controversy surrounding you. You are like a puzzle. I and my audience have come to know something about you.
Vadra: I want to continue to be a puzzle. I did not like the way people talked about me marrying Priyanka. I never thought of using Priyanka for my personal growth. Nothing was lacking in my own family and there was huge pressure on them. I have adopted a clean and a straight forward path. People often think I am weak, but I did everything for Priyanka.
Swati : You even cut-off your ties with your family for her.
Vadra: There was a lot of pressure on my family. It is possible that they were not able to maintain the balance. In a small town like Moradabad, ours was a well known family. When I took out the public notices, I did it with the intention of asking people to stop troubling them. What happened later on with my brother and father is entirely a different issue. There is no connection between the two incidents as there is a gap of 10 years between them.
Swati : Should Priyanka join politics? As per media reports when you expressed interest in joining politics, she said that you are satisfied being a businessman and you won’t join politics. What was it about and why so many controversies?
Vadra: It would be wrong if I do not talk about it today. It is quite possible that I have the capability to bring change. But I would still say that everything has its time. I am not campaigning for myself here. This is Rahul’s time and after him if we feel the need, Priyanka can join politics, I can join politics. In future, if I believe that my business is all set, I can enter politics and bring a change, only then I will do so.
Swati : What did you mean when you supposedly said that you have given up your life to Priyanka Gandhi?
Vadra: I often feel that the newspapers carry the title in a wrong manner which doesn’t convey the right message. It is of no use to portray me as arrogant, as the people around me know that my intentions are very simple and there is not a lot of thought process behind what I say as I don’t need anything from politics. I changed my life for Priyanka, gave it for her, some part of it is correct but not what the title suggests.
Swati : Have so many controversies hurt you?
Vadra: No, because the people who blame me or speak against me have the full right to do so.
Swati : It is also said that you want to ‘insure your business’ by joining politics. If that’s true, will you quit your business if you join politics?
Vadra: Not at all. Business is in my blood. I will always be a part of my business. But I cannot do politics and business at the same time. At the moment, my entire focus is on my business and I am very happy doing it.
Swati : You also issued a notice against BPTP?
Vadra: Companies like BPTP want to have a tie up with me so that they can use my name, but I am totally against it. I am very strict with my friends, family and people I meet. It takes some time for them to realize that I won’t help them through any means which is not right for me.
Swati : You would agree that yours is a rags-to-riches story. It was also said that DLF had a tie up with you and they gave you a lot of money. What was it all about?
Vadra: I know all such companies on a general basis. Like I said I would ask my bank manager to suggest to me to make some investment like a common man. In the same manner, I asked them that we could do some business together. No matter how hard anyone tries, they wouldn’t find anything which is illegal as no such deal took place.
Swati : What do you dream of as a father for your two children?
Vadra: I have put in all my hard work and time for them and we can already see them as good individuals, they will grow up like that and their futures are bright. Whether they opt for politics or not, we will always back them.
Adaptation by Suyash Srivastava