Bofors Scam exposed after 31 years; “How Congress Sold India’s Security” for thousands of crores

After three decades, the plan that put the entire nation under threat is been exposed. Sten Lindstrom, who was the former head of the Swedish police, led the investigation into the Bofors-India howitzer deal. Presently he is the chief investigator of the Bofors scam and he said that Rajiv Gandhi was aware of the illegal payments; this is a quid pro quo case.

In 2004, the Delhi High Court cleared Rajiv Gandhi of the allegations. But the CBI wanted to pursue the case, as expected UPA didn’t allow that to happen. So it is clear that the UPA buried the bofors scam. Now, it is crystal clear that the then PM Rajiv Gandhi covered up the scam and even obfuscated the investigation.

The parliamentary committee on last week had suggested that the case of irregularities into the purchase of Bofors guns should be restarted as there were many “loopholes” in the previous investigation. So the CBI replied that it can re-open the case if Supreme Court or the Centre orders to do so.

The six-member PAC Subcommittee on defence is looking into non-compliance of certain aspects of the CAG report of 1986 on the deal.

Now this has been a massive blow to the Congress party, one after the other scams is choking Congress even though it is not a ruling party.

In the book Unknown Facets of Rajiv Gandhi, Jyoti Basu and Indrajit Gupta, former CBI director Dr A P Mukherjee wrote that Rajiv Gandhi wanted the commission paid by defence suppliers to be used exclusively for the purpose of meeting expenses of running the Congress party.

Bofors scandal was the biggest scandal ever because it was a scam done by the ruling party by sidelining India’s own security. The then PM Rajiv Gandhi literally sold India for huge kickbacks. The deal took place between Congress and Sweden arms dealer during the period of 1980s and 1990s. “Bofors AB” paid huge kickbacks for winning the bid to supply 155 mm field howitzer. The then Indian government led by Rajiv Gandhi allegedly received US$ 1.4 billion from the Swedish arms manufacture Bofors.

Violations of several laws in this contract by the then Indian government were clearly evident. The evidentiary basis for the investigation was the documentation leaked to The Hindu by the confidential source, the key documents being the Swiss bank papers, transaction documents, secret contracts, and a diary and notes kept by Ardbo, which had been seized by the Swedish police.

The then PM Mr Gandhi and the then Prime Minister of Sweden Olaf Palme had discussed of the financial quid-pro-quo to carry out the Bofors gun deal. This conversation took between these two in a fight in January 1986, where Mr Gandhi requested Olof Palme to receive the funds from the Bofors urgently. This was revealed by Sten Lindstrom.

After this, a case was filed against Chadha, Quattrocchi, Bhatnagar, Ardbo and Bofors AB. Rajiv Gandhi was considered as “an accused not sent for trial” on October 22, 1999 as he was dead. So the arrest warrants was issued against Quattrocchi and summoned the other four.

Nishika Ram