The BJP on Monday said the Congress must answer the charges contained in the Wikileaks report regarding Rajiv Gandhi’s alleged role as a middleman for a Swedish aircraft company when his mother was the Prime Minister.
It also called on the Centre to make public the documents related to the issue. “These revelations are serious. The nation has a right to know the truth. These are 30 year-old documents, which point to the possible involvement of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Rajiv in various defence deals,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
“There is an accusation that Rajiv had played some role in the aircraft purchase before Indira took a final call on the defence deals. These allegations become even more serious against the backdrop of the VVIP helicopter scam,” Javadekar added.
The Congress on Monday dismissed reports based on WikiLeaks claiming that the late Rajiv Gandhi, much before becoming Prime Minister, may have been a middleman for a Swedish company trying to sell fighter aircraft to India, reports PTI.
Saying that the allegation has no basis whatsoever, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi referred to the last line of the particular cable to emphasise that there was no foundation to the allegation and and accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of “spreading lies and falsehoods.”
“Having noted what the Swede has said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information. The foundation of the whole story falls flat here,” he said quoting parts of the cable.
He also urged media not to fall for “temporary gains” and added “we are very hurt with the news” but dismissed questions on whether the party will resort to any legal action into the matter. He further said,
“Today a reputed newspaper of the country has published a peculiar report. What is a matter of deep regret is that those sections of media, in whose wisdom, most people in the country rely have also now begun to believe in sensational news.” The leaked secret cable claimed that Rajiv was the “main Indian negotiator” for a massive aircraft deal for which his family connections were seen as valuable.
The cable dated October 21, 1975 says the “Swedish Embassy official has informed us that main negotiator with Swedes on Viggen (a fighter aircraft) at New Delhi end has been Mrs Gandhi’s older son, Rajiv Gandhi.
“Latter’s only association with aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as pilot for Indian airlines and this is first time we heard his name as entrepreneur.”
The Congress general secretary also reminded the BJP of another WikiLeaks cable, which spoke of a big NDA leader seeking money from the US intelligence agency CIA, a reference to George Fernandes.“If it is accepted that there is any truth in this suspicion Then just below that cable it is one more report in which the name of a big leader of the NDA figures. I do not want to take his name or level any accusation against him because of the condition in which he is. But whether that is also true that he used to get money from the CIA or he had demanded money from the CIA,” he said.
Suggesting that the matter should “not be stretched further”, Dwivedi said otherwise it would be presumed that all this had happened in the knowledge of all the BJP leaders as well as Jayaprakash Narayan, who had led the anti-Congress movement in the 1970s.
He asked “should we stretch this story to the extent that the BJP and all its leaders were involved in it, who supported the agitations going on and the vandalism that took place then. Should I stretch it to further and say that all this took place in the knowledge of Jayaprakash Narayan.”
Dwivedi said people in the BJP, who were raking up this, should also think where they want to take the politics of the nation.
“What do they want after all. They forget all decorum.”