Robert Vadra

From shaking up the very foundations of the Indian government to stirring up unseemly controversies, from showing incredible courage in the face of extreme adversities to losing a reputation built over years of hard work in just a blink of an eye, from setting the electoral hustings afire with golden speeches to getting into trouble for not speaking at all, there were many 'newsmakers' in 2012 who caught the common man's imagination. Some made it for stellar reasons, others for all there is wrong with the society. Here are 12 'newsmakers' that deserve a mention.

Charges against Robert Vadra over his DLF connection are not something that are new or some sting operation done by Arvind Kejriwal & Co, so Vadra should thank his stars that he was not hounded or this nexus made an issue by the Opposition last year or even before that. The Economic Times first revealed in March 2011 about Robert Vadra and DLF land deals and how his companies' fortunes had, as a result, ballooned. Surprisingly, this was overlooked by the Opposition. But the issue was smartly picked up by Arvind Kejriwal and thus Vadra became his first expose.

Allegations against Vadra had taken the UPA government by surprise. Vadra has been accused by India Against Corruption activists of amassing massive wealth through corruption in property deals and questionable ties to realty major DLF.

Once a small time businessman, Vadra wanted to grow fast and had all the right contacts to grow at a quick pace. So an opportunity soon presented itself and, in 2008, his Sky Light Hospitality bought a 3.5-acre plot in Manesar close to DLF's recently launched residential apartment project, Primus, for Rs 15.38 crore. Till then all was fine but eyebrows were raised when it was known that he had sold the land to DLF, in exchange for an advance of Rs 58 crore, paid in installments over the next four years. Vadra made a tidy profit of Rs 42.61 crore. And with this deal, Vadra entered the world of big boys.

Within three years, Vadra's real estate empire saw an unreal expansion and within three years, he has amassed a property portfolio worth about Rs 200 crore.

But with Vadra getting a clean chit from the Haryana government, it will never be known why DLF chose Vadra as a partner. Was it because he is Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law or was it because the Vadras and the owners of DLF are family friends?

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