The reports that Appa Rao, the Officer on Special Duty with Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, had strong connection with Robert Vadra, the controversial son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, have kicked up a storm in media and political circles.
Ashok, who has been in politics for over four decades, has been very non-controversial without any allegations of corruption against him. So, he is naturally embarrassed to find his OSD being involved in Vadra deals. The question is how he had chosen Appa Rao as his OSD.
Sources say Ashok had appointed Appa Rao following recommendation from Nara Lokesh, TDP general secretary and son of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. But what is Appa Rao connection with Lokesh? Sources said he is V Appa Rao Chowdary, who had worked with Indian Railways for a long time.
He had also worked with the Power Ministry for several years and faced several allegations of corruption. And, somehow, he became closer to Naidu family. That is the link.
Ashok admitted that Appa Rao had introduced Sanjay Bhandari, supposed to be a benami of Vadra, to Ashok during an air show in Bangalore. But he had not entertained any deals with him.
“I will take action against my officer, if he is found guilty,” he said.