While Rahul Gandhi has continued with his ‘Chowkidaar Chor Hai’ attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming corruption in the Rafale deal between India and France, it seems that there is even more over the matter that the Congress needs to answer for.
Mere days after the sensational newsbreak regarding the Congress president's own land dealings being connected with an Arms middleman who had lobbied for the Eurofighter Typhoon against the Rafale and simultaneously attempted to win a Rafale offset contract, documents accessed by OpIndia clearly indicate a direct link between Eurofighter lobbying and a clear mention to 'the leading family'. The documents also indicate that the then UPA government may have delayed the Rafale deal because of Sweden’s ‘leverage’ over the Gandhis from the time of the Bofors scandal.
Christian Michel, who was a middleman in the AgustaWestland case, had earlier revealed that he paid kickbacks to numerous ’eminent personalities’ including celebrity journalists to swing the deal. In the aftermath of Christian Michel being extradited to India, it was revealed that under the UPA, Michel had also attempted to lobby for the Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighter despite Dassault's Rafale being shortlisted in the tendering process.
In the accessed documents, which are secret notes faxed by Michel to Guido R. Hashcke (the other middleman in the AgustaWestland deal) on August 12, 2010, Michel had named ‘The Leading Family’ while talking about the strategy to lobby for Eurofighter in India. Here's the document:
From this snip, it is evident that Michel was suggesting to Hashcke that they find an Indian middle man who would be “on a first name basis” with not only people within the Ministry of Defence but also the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and ‘the Leading Family’.
He claimed that there are three such persons and one is available.
Reference to Congress and Bofors scandal:
Furthermore, the faxed documents also revealed that a Swedish entry was back in the MMRCA race because of the purported leverage it had over the ruling dispensation at the time.
Six bids were received by India when the Congress government had floated the MMRCA tender. The bids were by:
1. American F/A-18 ‘Super Hornet’ (Boeing)
2. F-16 ‘Falcon’ (Lockheed Martin)
3. French Rafale (Dassault)
4. Russian MiG-35 (United Aircraft Corporation)
5. Swedish Gripen (SAAB)
6. Eurofighter Typhoon (Airbus consortium)
Prior to faxing the strategy paper, on 20th May 2010, Christian Michel had sent another fax from India to Guido R. Haschke. Christian Michel had mentioned a ‘note on MMRCA’ and has also mentioned a certain ”Mr P”. Take a look:
“I have sent you an article on Mr P. I think you will understand”.
Earlier on March 12, 2019, OpIndia-Republic TV's report had drawn a link between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and an arms dealer who is under the scanner over UPA era deals. The report not only asked whether a trip by Rahul Gandhi to Germany in 2018 involved a meeting with Eurofighter officials, but also claims that Sanjay Bhandari had between 2012 and 2015, attempted to lobby to win a Rafale offset contract. On where the offset discussions went, the report says that Dassault refused to entertain Bhandari, and adds an allegation that Bhandari was connected to a Ministry of Defence file related to the Rafale deal being stolen and later being found on a road.
What the report does then disclose a possible connection between Bhandari and the Congress president, citing land purchase agreements that bear Rahul Gandhi's name.
With the Bofors scam surfacing again with this exclusive newsbreak, it seems to be the right time for Rahul Gandhi to speak up and answer: Who is "the leading family" and "Mr P" that Christian Michel is refering to?