POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 13, 2013 AT 21:42 IST ,  Edited At: Nov 13, 2013 21:42 IST

Writing in the Indian Express, Ritu Sarin quotes from a new book, Unknown Facets of Rajiv Gandhi, Jyoti Basu and Indrajit Gupta, by Dr A P Mukherjee who served as CBI director between 1989-90 that Rajiv Gandhi wanted commissions given by defence suppliers to be pooled and used to fund the "inescapable expenses of the party": Rajiv Gandhi told me to use arms deal payoffs for party funds: Ex-CBI chief

Sarin quotes from Mukherjee's book that he claims to have kept quiet for years because he didn't want to betray the former prime minister's trust, something he could never think of doing:

"However, at this distant time and that too long after his tragic death, I owe it to posterity to narrate the full and complete disclosure of all that transpired between the two of us during this memorable coffee meeting with this remarkable human being whose trust I was privileged to receive in ample measure."

Alluding to a June 1989 conversation, when he was the additional director of the CBI, Mukherjee writes that Rajiv Gandhi told him during this meeting that a lot of money is required to run a large party like the Congress:

"The requirement assumes a huge proportion on the eve of assembly and/or parliamentary elections. This leads to massive fund collections by important party functionaries all over the country, which leads to an almost unbreakable unholy quid pro quo nexus between unscrupulous party functionaries, ministers and businessmen. I could sense this as the party's general secretary or even as its youth leader earlier,"

Mukherjee says that towards the end of 1984, Rajiv Gandhi came to know that some

"senior officers of the armed forces had been surreptitiously collecting huge amounts of money as 'commissions' in respect of most of the defence purchases, quite often in connivance with some ministers, middlemen and civilian officers as well"

"Rajiv Gandhi was very clear that commissions paid as a routine by most defence dealers should be properly accounted for and not siphoned off by dishonest officials of the armed forces and politicians...he wanted such payments to be pooled and accounted for..."

"[Rajiv Gandhi] discussed this problem with some of his trusted colleagues and advisers when it was suggested by some that all commissions as payable or usually paid to middlemen should be banned but the commissions to be given as a matter of routine practice by the suppliers of major defence materials could be pooled under the care of some non-government entity which could be utilised solely for the purpose of meeting the inescapable expenses of the party.

"As Rajiv Gandhi further stated, such a step would largely prevent the collusive nexus between the middlemen, ministers, bureaucrats and that such a step could enable the government to do away with the quid pro quo relationship with some unscrupulous businessmen and equally unscrupulous politicians and bureaucrats.

"Hence he endorsed the same. He also indicated that he favoured some legislation in line with the practices of some of the western countries where contributions to party funds by business houses and industrial houses and individuals were allowed with provisions for their proper accounting, auditing and public disclosure. But the wild, motivated and widespread adverse publicity obscured the prospect of proceeding further in the above manner."

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 13, 2013 AT 21:42 IST, Edited At: Nov 13, 2013 21:42 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 25, 2013 AT 06:45 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 25, 2013 06:45 IST

"Coal mafia is not outside the government. It exists within the Ministry of Coal," wrote P.C. Parakh, the then coal secretary to the then cabinet secretary B.K. Chaturvedi on March 22, 2005.

Parakh who is now an accused in the CBI's investigation into the coal block allocation scam went on to add: "There is large-scale black marketing and generation of black money through patronage of coal mafia in the current system of marketing of coal" 

Parakh has been accused of favouring industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla's firm Hindalco in an allocation which the CBI states was cleared by the "competent authority", in what is being seen as a possible reference to the prime minister.

Parakh's explosive letter was an angry response to the five-page show-cause notice served by the cabinet secretary on February 12, 2005, based on the then tainted coal minister Shibu Soren's letter of February 7, 2005 to the prime minister, charging his ministry's secretary of being an "NDA man" who was "disobedient" and "hiding information on the coal mafia."

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 25, 2013 AT 06:45 IST, Edited At: Oct 25, 2013 06:45 IST
POSTED BY News Ed ON Oct 17, 2013 AT 21:48 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 17, 2013 21:48 IST

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who was in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to launch his party's campaign for the state assembly elections had his own little '3-Idiots' moment today.

Rahul, who is known for making faux pas during speeches, added another one to his list of verbal mishaps.

While slamming the Shivraj Singh Chouhan led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi asked the gathering of some hundred people:

"Dus saal se jo sarkaar hai, isne aadivaasiyon kii izzat kii yaa nahi? Apke saath bhrashtaachaar kiya? (The government that has been here in power for the last 10 years, has it respected the tribals? Have they indulged in corruption?)"

To which someone from the audience apparently quipped, "Nahin balaatkaar kiya (No, they raped us)".

As the video shows, Rahul Gandhi too repeated 'balaatkaar', as if, to himself, almost in self correction. 

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POSTED BY News Ed ON Oct 17, 2013 AT 21:48 IST, Edited At: Oct 17, 2013 21:48 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 08, 2013 AT 09:51 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 08, 2013 09:51 IST

The Hindu, in investigative collaboration with WikiLeaks, has accessed a new set of U.S. diplomatic communications, The ‘Kissinger Cables, from an earlier but highly turbulent period in India's political history: the early-to mid-1970s that comprise more than 1.7 million U.S. diplomatic records for the period 1973 to 1976, relating to a period when Henry Kissinger was the U.S Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford Administrations. The first major revelation from these set of cables, as revealed by the Hindu is that much before he joined politics, 'Mr Clean" Rajiv Gandhi "may have been the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his “family” connections were seen as valuable for the Swedish company Saab-Scania, when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s".

An October 21, 1975 cable from the New Delhi U.S. Embassy (1975NEWDE14031_b, confidential) says:

1. THE SWEDES HERE ARE ONCE AGAIN OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THEIR CHANCES OF SELLING THE VIGGEN TO THE INDIAN AIR FORCE. THE SAAB SCANIA SALES MANAGER AND THE CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR, THE FORMER ACTING COMMANDER OF THE SWEDISH AIR FORCE, RETURNED TO NEW DELHI TEN DAYS AGO FOR CONFERENCES WITH THE INDIANS. THE TECHNICAL ADVISOR IS STILL HERE AND WILL REMAIN AS LONG AS NECESSARY TO HANDLE QUESTIONS FROM THE NEW INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER AND NEW IAF CHIEF OF THE STAFF, BOTH OF WHOM ACCORDING TO OUR SWEDISH COLLEAGUE, REQUIRE TIME TO BRIEF THEMSELVES ON THE COMPETING FIGHTERS. CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL PAGE 02 NEW DE 01909 061554Z

2. THE SWEDES HERE EXPECT THAT THE IAF WILL SEND A TEST PILOT TO SWEDEN TO FLY THE VIGGEN SINCE THE CURRENT MODELS COMING OFF THE LINE ARE AIRWORTHY. HE TELLS US THE INDIANS HAVE ACCEPTED THE EXPLANATION FOR THE WING STRUCTURAL DEFECT WHICH TEMPORARILY GROUNDED THE EARLY MODELS.

3. THE SWEDES BELIEVE THEIR MOST TELLING POINT, HOWEVER, IS THE LONGEVITY OF THE AIRCRAFT. THEY SAY THEY HAVE CON- VINCED THE IAF THAT THE REPLACEABLE AVIONICS PACKAGES IN THE VIGGEN RENDER IT CAPABLE OF PERIODIC MODERNIZATION WITH THE RESULT THAT IT WILL BE VIABLE UNTIL 2000 (WHICH SOUNDS A BIT FAR FETCHED TO US). OUR SWEDISH COLLEAGUE SAID THE PROPOSAL CONTINUES TO BE THAT THE INDIANS BUILD THE AIRFRAMES AND POSSIBLY SOME ENGINES OR ENGINE COMPONENTS, BUT THE SWEDES PROVIDE THE AVIONICS. SINCE THE INDIANS WANT "THE BEST", ACCORDING TO OUR SWEDISH CONTACT, THE IAF REGARDS THE AVIONICS AS VITAL. MOREOVER, THE SWEDES WOULD NOT CONSIDER SELLING THE VIGGEN WITHOUT THE "BLACK BOXES." THESE FACTORS, THE SWEDES ASSERT, GO A LONG WAY TO OFFSET THE DISADVANTAGE OF RELATIVELY HIGH INITIAL UNIT COST. ANOTHER INDUCEMENT, AS SEEN BY THE SWEDES HERE, IS THAT SAAB SCANIA HAS COMPLETED ITS SURVEY OF INDIAN EXPORTS AND CONCLUDED IT COULD MARKET SEVERAL ITEMS IN SWEDEN OR THE WEST MAKING A BARTER TYPE ARRANGEMENT AT LEAST FEASIBLE FROM THE SWEDISH POINT OF VIEW.

4. THE SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER IS DUE ON A VISIT TO NEW DELHI CIRCA MARCH 1. THE SWEDES ARE BRACED FOR ANOTHER INDIAN APPEAL FOR CREDIT WHICH OUR COLLEAGUE SAYS SWEDEN WILL NOT GRANT, BUT HE DID SAY THE MINISTER WOULD STRONGLY SUPPORT THE VIGGEN SALE. OUR COLLEAGUE WOULD NOT SAY WHAT OTHER CONCESSIONS THE SWEDES MAY BE CONSIDERING. 5. THE SWEDES HERE HAVE ALSO MADE IT QUITE CLEAR THEY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY INFLUENCES IN THE FINAL DECISION IN THE FIGHTER SWEEPSTAKES. OUR COLLEAGUE DESCRIBES RANJIV GANDHI IN FLATTERING TERMS, AND CONTENDS HIS TECHNICAL EXPERTISE IS OF A HIGH LEVEL. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE. OFFHAND WE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT A TRANSPORT PILOT NOT THE BEST EXPERT TO RELY UPON IN EVALUATING A FIGHTER PLANE, BUT THEN WE ARE SPEAKING OF A TRANSPORT PILOT WHO HAS ANOTHER AND PERHAPS MORE RELEVANT QUALIFICATION. CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL

For more context about the Jet Deal, read on at the Hindu: Rajiv Gandhi was ‘entrepreneur’ for Swedish jet, U.S. cable says.

Also See at the Hindu: Fernandes ‘sought CIA funding’ during Emergency

See all the Kissinger Cables at Wikileaks



 

 

 

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 08, 2013 AT 09:51 IST, Edited At: Apr 08, 2013 09:51 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 20, 2012 AT 16:41 IST ,  Edited At: Dec 20, 2012 16:41 IST

Pramod Kumar Singh in the Pioneer: ‘Hafta diary’ helps cops zero in on rape bus

It was the corrupt practice of allowing transporters to illegally run their buses after-hours that helped the police zero in on the vehicle used in Sunday's gangrape, sources say.

A traffic policeman had reportedly recorded the registration number of the bus in a 'hafta' diary - a record of illegally-plying buses for which bribes have been paid for exemption of prosecution. That immunity from police, however, is seen as the sole reason the gangrape was not detected as no cop intercepted it while it circled the area slowly.

The cop identified the bus when the police relayed the description provided by the victims. It finally led the police to zero in on two transporters with Yadav as their surnames. The bus was culled from a list of 370 chartered buses and the owner Dinesh Yadav was picked up by the police from his Noida Sector 62 residence and brought to verify the description of driver Ram Singh and also identify him after his arrest.

The very fact that the bus was plying illegally for hours on Sunday night with impunity suggests the active collusion of traffic police personnel.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Dec 20, 2012 AT 16:41 IST, Edited At: Dec 20, 2012 16:41 IST
     
 
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