“Don’t let them raise Bofors,” an emotional Sonia Gandhi has reportedly told the party. She has said that the party will go to any extent to protect the image of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“They are trying to taint my husband and our former leader. We cannot allow this and the party will go to any extent to protect the image of Rajiv-ji,” she reportedly said.
She has also asked partymen to “hit back with their scams” if the issue of Bofors is raised. “They want to tarnish the Gandhi’s name and we cannot allow them to do that,” she said.
She also asserted that son, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would no speak on the raging controversy over the Bofors scandal that Republic TV has been pursuing and investigating.
“If the BJP raises the issue, our senior party leaders will respond with facts,” she added.
For the third consecutive day in pursuing the truth in the murky Bofors deal that was made nearly 30 year ago, Republic TV, on Tuesday, exposed papers that revealed that the Swedish company was made to give a clean chit to the Gandhis.
It was revealed that late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi may have sought and received a clean chit for himself and his family. In a span of just 40 words, the Rajiv Gandhi family had been given a clean chit three whole times.
Given that the three-day secret meeting in New Delhi was between the top Bofors bosses and official representatives of the Rajiv Gandhi government, the question that begs is ‘’why were clean chits to the Gandhi family part of the official minutes of the secret meeting?’
The papers also reveal that the government of India knew that Italian businessman and the middleman in the case, Ottavio Quattrocchi, was getting 50 million SEK from Bofors as early as on 19th September, 1987.
According to chief investigator Sten Lindstrom, the then Swedish PM Palme met Rajiv Gandhi on a plane in January 1986 and an alleged “understanding” on kickbacks was reached. Sten claimed that kickbacks of 50 million SEK were paid. And, according to the recent revelations, SEK 50 million went to Quattrochi from Bofors. The question of ‘did these two SEK 50 million payments have anything to do with each other’ still remains to be answered.
Is it a coincidence that the SEK 50 Million to Quattrocchi and the Rajiv Gandhi's "understanding" with Palme happened at the same time?
In a fresh set of papers accessed by Republic TV, it was revealed what late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi told Bofors following the arms deal with the Swedish company.
The papers reveal that the then Prime Minister had told the Swedish arms manufacturer that some information could be kept away from Parliament. It was also revealed that the Prime Minister had promised Bofors that his government would find ways to stall information to the Bofors parliament committee.
In another damning piece of information, it was revealed that a copy of the terms of reference of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which was to probe the deal was made available to the company itself.