Congress mouthpiece National Herald, which itself has been embroiled in controversies, today, in a move to try and save Congress’ prime ministerial candidate for 2019 elections Rahul Gandhi’s face after the Rafale goof up in the Parliament, on Sunday published a story with the headline: Rafale: Modi’s Bofors.
We had earlier written how Rafale deal is not a scam unless Congress has dreamt one up, the fact that the publication effectively owned by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi referred to Bofors as a scam, says a lot. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are promoters of Young Indian which had purchased loans of Rs. 90 crore owed by Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company which publishes National Herald. The said loan was advanced to AJL by Indian National Congress/All India Congress Committee. We had earlier covered how the Gandhis had tried to thwart the Income Tax’ investigation into the National Herald case. Congress had also earlier reportedly threatened tax officials with legal consequences for asking “irrelevant questions” during their investigations.
What is the Bofors scandal?
The Indian Government under Rahul Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi’s leadership had finalized a $1.5 Billion deal with Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors in order to acquire 410 field howitzer guns. It was the largest defence deal in Sweden till date and like everything which looks too good to be true, it ran into problems. Allegations of bribery surfaced and it was reported that Indian Politicians and officials received kickbacks for the deal.
Ottavio Quattrocchi, who was a close friend of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi, was reported as the main middleman in the deal. Its reported that Quattrocchi’s influence in the government was so high that Indian bureaucrats used to stand up when he visited them. This Quattrocchi connection among others ensured that Rajiv Gandhi got directly embroiled in the scam that eventually contributed to him losing the election in 1989.
After years of denying, Congress mouthpiece National Herald finally accepted that Bofors was a scam. Twitter users were highly amused by this affirmation.
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) July 30, 2018
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) July 30, 2018
In this lifetime only. ? https://t.co/i4uWgbhiFv
— Yashwant Deshmukh (@YRDeshmukh) July 30, 2018
While their Rafale assertions couldn’t be more wrong, Congress finally admitting that the Bofors deal was a scam is certainly a cause to celebrate. Maybe next they can clear the air on Congress’ involvement in the 1984 Sikh genocide? Apologise for the ‘when a big tree falls the Earth shakes’ comment? Or perhaps clear the air about the alleged National Herald scandal?
Congress has been erroneously alleging that Rafale is a scam. By that standard, the only logical conclusion is that they are admitting that Bofors was too. And if they want to claim that Bofors wasn’t a scam and Rajiv Gandhi was innocent, national herald must mean Rafale isn’t either, thereby contradicting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s position. So which is it?