Is Sonia Above Questioning?
The BJP has taken up the secret Indian Swiss bank money issue. Does it seriously contemplate recovering the money? Or is it just a poll gimmick? Recall the party’s somersault on the Indo-US Nuclear-Deal. If the deal destroys national security, why have Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha not resigned? Are they political opportunists? Do they or don’t they really intend to deliver results on the Swiss money? If the BJP is serious about fighting corruption there is no dearth of issues. Take one glaring example.
On August 15, 2006 this scribe wrote: "Dr. Yevgeniya Albats is a Soviet journalist who …was appointed as member of the official KGB Commission set up by President Yeltsin in 1991. She had full access to secret files of the KGB. She authored a book, The State within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia …. Dr. Albats disclosed in her book that KGB chief Victor Chebrikov in December 1985 had sought in writing from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), ‘authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.’ CPSU payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated 20/12/1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No. 2633/Rs dated 20/12/1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family, and ‘have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No. 11187/22 OP dated 10/12/1984.’
"In 1992 the media confronted the Russian government with the Albats disclosure. The Russian government confirmed the veracity of the disclosure and defended it as necessary for ‘Soviet ideological interest’. The Hindu of July 4, 1992 carried this report….In November 1991 the respected Swiss magazine, Schweitzer Illustrate, published a report alleging that Rajiv Gandhi had 2.5 billion Swiss francs, equivalent roughly to two billion US dollars, in numbered Swiss bank accounts....Surely, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi owes herself and the nation an emphatic and effective rebuttal of the Albats charges?"
On November 8 2006 I again wrote: "…Until now there has been only deafening silence from Mrs. Gandhi and the Congress party….If the Albats allegation published in a reputed research book is false, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should promptly deny it. Otherwise, her silence could be perceived as assent."
The government remained silent. But so did all the opposition parties! Why? Are the opposition leaders themselves also vulnerable and compelled to maintain discreet silence? Draw your own conclusions.
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